‘Nothing short of electric’: A look at game day traditions at TDECU Stadium
College football game days create an atmosphere and experience that enhances the importance of a sporting event.
It makes for more than just a game. It creates tradition, one that is beloved by fans who wait in anticipation to support their university teams.
As one makes their way to campus, the first look at TDECU Stadium brings chills and excitement as fans wait to arrive at the scene.
The walk to the stadium gives you a first look at the sea of red and white worn by the Houston community made up of students, alumni and fans dedicating time and passion towards rooting for the Cougars.
“Wearing the scarlet and white on game days means a lot to me,” said finance and management senior Jarno Reek. “It makes me feel a part of the UH family and I feel that sense of community when I wear it.”
At every corner and sidewalk surrounding the stadium, tailgates, tents and cookouts become the melting pot for fans wanting to have some fun and interact until kickoff time approaches.
“UH game days are always one of the best days of the week,” Reek said. “It’s always a great time to get together with my friends and fellow students to support the team. I usually head to the stadium early, wearing red, and hang out at the tailgates before making my way into the stadium.”
The traditional team walk to the stadium brings early-goers to the edges of the walkway, praising and cheering on the players and staff ahead of the game.
Despite the loud music blaring from speakers situated at tents, the sound of fans and groups sparking spirit chants are present as the time ticks down until kickoff.
“My favorite pregame festivities include getting together with friends and heading to the tailgate to get ready for the game with fellow students,” Reek said. “This is always a great time where everyone is getting hype for the game.”
Considering the recent success that the UH football team had last season combined with a move to the Big 12 Conference staring one year away, the anticipation and the atmosphere on football game days this upcoming season could make for some of the best showings of Cougar pride from the community.
“Whether it’s basketball or football, our previous seasons left us at higher notes than we could have imagined,” said marketing senior Matthew Shrand. “I know that the hype for this season will be nothing short of electric. The excitement never ended last season, and this season as much as expectations will be sky high, there’s not a doubt in my mind that the Cougars are going to make us proud yet again. I am very excited.”
A home opening date on Sept. 17 against future Big 12 opponents Kansas will set the stage for the 2022 season’s first taste of game day traditions at TDECU Stadium this season, and fans will be right back and ready to enjoy the experience while supporting the team.
As kickoff nears, the fans swarm to the entrances to find their seats before the game starts, but the exuberant energy of the band keeps the fans going before, during and after the game.
“The band with their roaring anthems, such as Womp Womp and our Alma Mater are two songs that no matter what time is left or what’s happening in the game, I live for because of the enthusiasm and positive energy, and I know that I’ll never leave a game disappointed,” Shrand said.
Win or lose, the fans keep the tradition alive week in and week out for home games and even on the road, as the energy, passion and love for the University and its athletics propel the showing every time.
No matter the circumstances, the overall experience from start to finish is what makes game days special.
Whether the game be on a cloudy Thursday night or a hot and sunny Saturday afternoon, the Cougar faithful fans will show up to represent and support the Cougars in hopes of pulling out a victory.
“UH football games stand as some of the best memories I’ve had at this university,” Shrand said. “It’s a place to display all the school spirit you have and know that your energy will be matched. Not only are they free, but also provide an excellent place to make friends and become closer to those friends you already have.”