Rowdy college students from UMass have been known to get so wild and inebriated that during gameday it is affectionately referred to as ZooMass. The raucous student section even refers to itself as “The Zoo” and proudly embraces the name while the University itself strays away from it. If you stumble upon students preparing for gameday on campus or even the parking lot of Gillette Stadium, the atmosphere could be comparable to a zoo. Even if they lose, they still get the most out of every play in the game, every tailgate before the game, and every after party after. Win or lose you will enjoy yourself with ZooMass.
2. Minuteman March
Make sure to check out the Minuteman March on MinuteFan Way before the game. Approximately two hours before kickoff the Minutemen march through the tailgate on their way to the stadium, so take the opportunity to high-five your favorite players before the game.
3. The Stump
One of the unique drinking games found at UMass tailgates involves hammering in nails into a tree stump. The goal of the game is to pound the spikes in with the least swings of the hammer, almost like winning a round golf. At the end of the game, the number of strikes it took you to pound in your spike is the number of seconds you have to drink. This sort of sports-inspired drinking helps build the reputation of ZooMass and the Zoo and is a fun time for anyone looking to get rowdy at the tailgate.
5. MinuteFan Way
The school sets up a fan zone for the tailgate known as MinuteFan Way along Stadium Drive on the Northeast side of McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The area features a reception area hosted by the Alumni Association, video game trailers, live entertainment, concessions, mini golf, face-painting, bounce houses, and tents hosted by sponsors and other schools and colleges within the University. MinuteFan Way is fun for the whole family, so stop by and bring the kids.
5. Sam the Minuteman
Sam the Minuteman is the official mascot of the UMass Minutemen and was the runner-up in the 2005 Capital One Mascot of the Year competition. All throughout the game, you can see Sam entertaining the crowd, so keep your eyes peeled for him when attending a Minutemen football game.
6. Football Performance Center
If you get the chance make sure to check out UMass’s new Football Performance Center. The new facility is where everything behind the scenes goes on and is home to a football hall of fame, so make sure to check it out.
7. University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band (UMMB)
The Minuteman Marching Band puts on an incredible show at Minutemen football games and is a big part of what makes a UMass football game such a spectacular event. The band’s pregame, halftime, and postgame shows are out of this world, so don’t miss them when attending a UMass game.
Check out the banners celebrating past UMass players hanging around the stadium. The banners honor all of the best players in Minutemen history, so take a minute to remember all of your favorite players of the past including Victor Cruz and Greg Landry.
9. Lot 11
Lot 11 is found behind the stadium, and this is where most of the fans go and pump themselves up for the game. If you’re looking for a good time, awesome beer, delicious food, and amazing company, then Lot 11 is the tailgate spot for you.
10. Rivalry with Boston College
With UMass’s recent move to the FBS in 2012, UMass will look reignite their rivalry with Boston College. The rivalry dates back to 1899 when BC shutout UMass 18-0 and has been played on and off ever since. The rivalry was the fiercest between these two Massachusetts-based schools from 1966 to 1982 when the two schools met every season. You won’t want to miss the clash between these two fierce rivals when UMass Battles BC on the gridiron.