HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — This Saturday marks the first home football game of 2019 at James Madison University.
Air3 looks down at JMU's squad and Bridgeforth Stadium.
The new season comes with a number of policy changes at Bridgeforth Stadium that you should be aware of if you plan on going to any games this fall.
First of all, as always, you're encouraged to enter the stadium early to avoid the worst crowds and enjoy the pregame Marching Royal Dukes performance. Bridgeforth Stadium gates open 90 minutes before kickoff.
Here's a rundown of the new policies:
Clear Bag Policy
All fans entering Bridgeforth Stadium wishing to use a bag to carry loose items will be required to use a clear bag measuring no greater than 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches. A maximum 4.5-inch by 6.5-inch clutch or wallet is also allowed. Items such as blankets are allowed to be carried loosely without a bag. All clear bags will be searched for prohibited items, which include:
• Alcoholic beverages
• Non-clear bags
• Artificial noisemakers
• Containers (like bottles, cans, coolers, flasks
• Skates, skateboards, bikes, scooters
• Offensive clothing, language, signage
• Outside food and drinks (one empty refillable plastic or metal water bottle or mug is allowed per person)
• Pets (except service animals)
• Signage on sticks or poles
• Video cameras and equipment
• Weapons of any kind or explosives
Starting this fall, everyone who enters Bridgeforth Stadium must pass through a metal detector. Most small items will not be required to be removed unless the alarm is triggered and a more in-depth scan is required.
Shoes, belts, cell phones and small key rings will not need to be removed.
Per stadium policy, no concealed weapons may enter Bridgeforth Stadium regardless of weapon permits. For individuals who cannot pass through the metal detectors for health or accessibility reasons, alternative screening will be available.
New for this season, JMU will offer alcohol sales in select parts of the stadium.
The sale locations will be in the ground level of the north endzone, as well as the lower and upper concourses of the west stands.
The east stands, which hold the student seating section, will not have any alcoholic beverage sales.
You can see the stadium map for locations for arm banding (labeled as “ID Check Point”) and alcohol sales (two on upper concourse, one on lower concourse, one on ground level).
If you wish to buy alcohol, you'll need to get an armband and a hand mark first to verify your age. Then, you can buy up to four total alcoholic beverages throughout the game and a max of two at a time.
Alcohol sales the club and suite levels will remain the same as they've been.
All alcohol sales stop at the end of the third quarter.
To start with, they'll offer Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Lite in 16 oz. cans for $7 or Bold Rock Hard Cider, Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager, and Three Notch’d Minute Man IPA for $8 each.
According to the school, beer will be the only initial offering, but they may expand to other offerings later in the season or in future seasons, depending on how the beer sales go.
JMU Public Safety was closely involved in the decision to offer alcohol sales and offered its recommendations in the planning process.
Duke Club Hospitality
The Duke Club pregame hospitality experience has been upgraded for the 2019 season and offers members at the Silver Proud and True Level or higher a premium pregame experience. Passes are $60 for the season or $15 per game and include themed menus from Wood Grill Buffet, two alcoholic drink tickets, beer/wine tastings, music, televisions for watching other games, traditional tailgating games and more. Order online or call 540-568-3853.
Fourth Quarter Meal Punch
New in 2019, in an effort to encourage students to remain loud and present for four quarters, students will have the opportunity to use a meal punch at concession stands during the fourth quarter of all home football games. Two available options include: 1) hot dog, Route 11 chips and 22 ounce fountain beverage in a souvenir cup or 2) loaded baked potato with vegetarian chili and cheese sauce and 22 ounce fountain drink in a souvenir cup.
As a new promotion for 2019, game-specific giveaway posters are available in the University Outpost Fan Zone on the Godwin Hall patio. There will be a total of six during the regular season.
Season tickets for the 2019 season, presented by CarMax, are still available and can be purchased at JMUTickets.com. Season tickets offer the best pricing and seating options in Bridgeforth Stadium and include complimentary game day parking.
Game Day Ticket Booth Hours
The JMU Ticket Office, located in the Convocation Center, is open 8 a.m. to noon for all home football games (with the exception of Family Weekend, due to earlier start time). The Gate A ticket booth at Bridgeforth Stadium opens four hours before kickoff while remaining ticket booths open two hours prior.
Mobile ticket entry is available at all gates. Fans are encouraged to have their tickets preloaded on their phones before approaching entry points.
Student Ticket Reservations
JMU students may begin reserving their free game tickets on the Monday two weeks before each home game. Reservations for the Sept. 7 opener vs. Saint Francis already started on August 26. More information on student ticketing and a link for reservations is available at JMUSports.com. Tickets for student guests can also be obtained through the student reservation process.
Parking & Shuttle Changes
All parking lots open at 8 a.m. with reserved lots closing two hours postgame.
• The East Campus Parking Deck, adjacent to the under-construction Atlantic Union Bank Center, is open, offering 1,500 parking parking spaces available for general access. A shuttle service will pick up at the Festival bus stop, adjacent to the new deck, as well as at a new bus turnaround at the brand-new Paul Jennings Hall, adjacent to the Convocation Center lots.
• G Lot, adjacent to Godwin Hall and the JMU Bookstore, has been reconfigured for the 2019-20 academic year and offers an improved layout for tailgating and game day navigation.
• A courtesy drop-off area is available in front of Showker Hall pregame and in G Lot postgame should any guests need to be dropped off or picked up closer to Bridgeforth Stadium. This is a good option for ride sharing operations such as Uber and Lyft.
• A reminder that shuttles operate to most Harrisonburg-area hotels and student off-campus housing complexes beginning two hours pregame through one hour postgame.
For more info on new and updated policies, as well as explanatory graphics and videos, visit jmusports.com/news/2019/9/2/game-day-enhancements-set-for-jmu-football-at-bridgeforth-stadium.aspx.