1. Mission

The mission is a live Siberian Huskie mascot that can be found at every NIU game. After every Huskies score Mission sprints across the end zone in celebration, so keep your eyes peeled for this great game day tradition.

2. Huskie Mobile and Bus

One of the center points of the tailgate party revolves around the Huskie Mobile and the Huskie Bus. The vehicles are owned and operated by a diehard NIU fans and can be found at every Huskies home game. Many students and locals set up their tailgates as close to the vehicles as possible to get in on the Huskie game day spirit that surrounds these impressive tailgate vehicles.  

3. The Yard

The Yard is the hub of Huskie tailgating. Here on the West Lawn, you’ll be able to meet NIU student-athletes, enjoy live music, and buy food and drinks. The Yard opens two and a half hours before kickoff, so head on down to The Yard before heading into Huskie Stadium

4. Huskie Statue

When attending a game at NIU make sure to stop by the Yordon Athletic Center and check out the Huskie statue. The statue does a great job of showing off the school pride that can be found all throughout DeKalb, so make sure to snap a picture of yourself with the statue.

5. Pre-Game Drumline

The NIU drumline frequently makes appearances before the game at the tailgate enhancing the already festive pre-game atmosphere you’ll find in DeKalb. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the drumline as you wouldn’t want to miss out on this fun pre-game tradition.

6. Painted Huskie

Inside the stadium, you’ll find even more displays of Huskie pride, as not only are there Huskies flags and banners all throughout the stadium, but you’ll also find the Huskies logo painted into the grass behind the south end zone. There is tons of Huskies pride on display at NIU, so take it all in when attending a Huskies game.

7. Red Riot

The Red Riot is the nickname given the Huskies student section.  The section fills quickly every game and is one of the loudest student sections you will encounter in the MAC. There is always a riot in the student section with raucous chants and infectious energy that is contagious throughout the stadium.

8. Bronze Stalk Trophy

The winner between Ball State and Northern Illinois takes home the Bronze Stalk Trophy. The rivalry is among the fiercest in the MAC and often has a conference championship and bowl game implications since in recent years both teams have been among the strongest in the conference. This rivalry dates back to 1941 when the Cardinals and Huskies tied at 6 all and has been going strong ever since with Northern Illinois holding an ever so slim 21-20-1 all-time lead. The battle for the Bronze Stalk Trophy is a can’t miss event for Huskies fans, so make sure to be in attendance when these two bitter rivals get together.

9. Fatty's

If traditional tailgating isn’t your scene, then make the short walk to Fatty’s. Here you’ll find a local favorite that serves great burgers and game day wings deal (20 wings for $15).  Whether you stop by before the tailgate or for a post-game snack, you can’t make the trip to DeKalb without stopping at Fatty’s for a bite to eat.

10. Huskie Band

The Huskie Band always knows what tune to play to energize the crowd helping create one of the best home field advantages in the MAC. The pregame and halftime displays they put on are also among the best around, so don’t miss out on this incredible band when attending an NIU game.

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