1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Retired Numbersc
The Panthers have retired two football numbers over the years; 17 and 18. On October 17, 2009, the school retired Tony Romo’s #17 jersey. Romo won Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year three times during his collegiate career and went onto star as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL. Sean Payton’s #18 jersey was retired on September 11, 2010. Payton finished his collegiate quarterback career with 10,655 passing yards, holding the school’s career record. He also led the New Orleans Saints to their only Super Bowl championship in 2010 as the team’s head coach.
4. Spirit Walk
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.
5. Panther Marching Band
Enjoy the performance of the Panther Marching Band throughout the game. The Panther Marching Band puts on a great show and creates a fantastic atmosphere during the game making them one of the most important parts of any EIU football game.
6. Mid-America Classic
The Mid-America Classic between Eastern Illinois and Illinois State began in 1901 and is the oldest college football rivalry in Illinois. Despite not having played in the same conference since 1995 the two schools typically meet each year helping preserve the intense rivalry. Illinois State leads the all-time series 54-41-9, but you won’t want to miss it when the Panthers try to draw nearer when these two meet.
7. Panther Mascot
Don’t miss the panther mascot during the game. He gets into a variety of antics throughout the game, and if you get the chance, give him a high-five if you see him in the stands.
8. 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.
9. Tailgate Alley
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.
10. Pink Panther Dance Team
The Pink Panther Dance Team will dazzle you with their routines. The dance team is a fun part of any Panthers football game, so don’t leave your seat when you see them take the field.