You’ll want to get to O’Brien Stadium bright and early when attending a Panthers football game. There is a ton to do at an Eastern Illinois tailgate and Panthers fans go all out to throw some of the best tailgates you’ll find in the state of Illinois. Everywhere you look on game days you’ll see a sea of blue tailgating outside O’Brien Stadium as the whole town comes out to support the Panthers.
Eastern Illinois makes it easy for you to set up your tailgate party and join the festivities as there is plenty of space to tailgate. Those of you who are looking to throw a big tailgate bash will without a doubt want to take advantage of Tent City, which offers 40×40 tailgate spots.
In addition to the wealth of people tailgating, Eastern Illinois also provides tons of pregame entertainment. The band concert and Spirit Walk are the perfect way to get into the game day spirit, and if you’re looking for something to entertain the kids, then you won’t want to miss Billy’s Backyard Kid’s Zone. Tailgate fans will also love Tailgate Alley, and die-hard Panthers fans won’t want to miss the opportunity to check out the EIU Hall of Fame inside Lantz Arena.
Tailgating is a huge part of attending an Eastern Illinois football game, so get here early and enjoy all the sights and sounds a Panthers pregame has to offer.
Concert at Booth Library
Concert at Booth Library - The Eastern Illinois Panthers Marching Band performs on the steps of Booth Library an hour before every football game. During the show, they play selections from the halftime show as well as traditional school songs. Stop by Booth Library to enjoy the concert and get into the Panthers game day spirit.
Following the pregame concert at Booth Library, the band leads the fans, dance team, and cheerleaders to O’Brien Stadium in the Spirit Walk. The Spirit Walk is one of the best pregame traditions at Eastern Illinois, so make sure to take part in it before the game.
Billy’s Backyard Kid’s Zone
Stop by Billy’s Backyard Kid’s Zone before the game. Billy’s Backyard Kid’s Zone is the perfect place to keep kids entertained before the game and features inflatables, obstacle courses, and other kids activities.
Take some time to visit Tailgate Alley located in the O’Brien Field parking lot. Tailgate Alley has a lot to see and do, so make sure to check it out.
Eastern Illinois Hall of Fame at Lantz Arena
Check out the Eastern Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in Lantz Arena before the game. The Hall of Fame is located in the main entrance and is a must-see for any Panthers fan.
Where to tailgate
Tent CityIf you want to enjoy EIU tailgating at its best, then reserve a spot in Tent City for $40 per game. These 40x40 tailgate spaces give you plenty of room to tailgate no matter what your party’s size, making them a great place to throw a tailgate bash before the game.
Panther Club ParkingThose of you who are Panther Club members will want to take advantage of the ability to park in the O’Brien Field Lot and J Lot putting you right at the heart of the action.
Free ParkingIf you want to enjoy a Panthers game day without paying for parking, you’re in luck. Eastern Illinois offers free parking in the grass lot west of the stadium and the pathed lot south of the campus pond.