By Steven Tucker
With just under three weeks remaining until the start of the 2016 football season, UConn athletic director David Benedict announced several changes to the game day experience at Pratt and Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field during an August 12 appearance on WTIC NewsTalk 1080.
One change will certainly excite UConn students: free bus transportation to and from the Rent. Previously, students had to purchase a ticket to ride the bus to each game.
The bus ticket isn’t the only item that will be free for incoming freshmen attending the home opener. Benedict also announced that members of the Class of 2020 will receive a free ticket to the Huskies’ Sept. 1 contest against Maine.
But the savings don’t end there.
All Husky fans will now enjoy bottled water and hot dogs at a reduced price from last season, Benedict said. Spectators will also see changes in parking when they arrive at the Rent. Students that drive to home games will be able to park at a new student tailgate lot, and Blue Lot ticket holders can now park anywhere in the Blue Lot during the first hour of tailgating.
Tailgating at the Rent will now begin five hours prior to the start of every game; an increase of one hour from previous seasons’ tailgates.
Preparation for the 2016 football season is in full swing as the Huskies opened preseason camp Friday, August 5 and began practicing in full pads Tuesday, August 9. UConn finished with a record of 6-7 last season, which included an upset victory at home over then-No. 19 Houston, and an appearance in the St. Petersburg Bowl – the program’s first bowl game in five seasons.
The Huskies return numerous starters on both sides of the ball from last year’s team, including quarterback Bryant Shirreffs, running back Arkeel Newsome, safety Obi Melifonwu and cornerback Jamar Summers, who was second in the country in interceptions last season. Head coach Bob Diaco returns for his third season, which promises to be exciting and successful for the Huskies.
Be sure to tune into 91.7 FM and whus.org for live game coverage of UConn Football this season.