Heading to College GameDay? Here’s What You Need to Know

College GameDay

If you’re waking up early for the GameDay activities, here’s what you need to know.

Pictured: Desmond Howard, Rece Davis, Tim McGraw, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit on the set of College GameDay Built by the Home Depot (Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

by Amanda Smiley

Guess who’s back, back again.

ESPN’s College GameDay returns to the TCU campus Saturday, right before the No. 15 team faces No. 4 Ohio State at 7 p.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

If you’re waking up early for the GameDay activities, here’s what you need to know.

BEFORE THE SHOW

Where to Park
The school encourages visitors to park in campus lots 3, 4 and 5, which all front West Cantey Street north of Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Where to Go
College GameDay will set up stages, cameras and fan pits in the TCU Campus Commons, located near the intersection of Stadium Drive and Main Drive, adjacent to Brown-Lupton University Union.

When It Starts
The broadcast will air from 8 to 11 a.m., but get there early — parking will be tricky, and many students often camp out in the Campus Commons to reserve a spot. The north, south and Brown-Lupton Breezeway entrances of the Commons will open at midnight Saturday morning and will remain open to the general public throughout the morning and early afternoon. The pit area will open at 5:30 a.m.

DURING THE SHOW

Get on TV
Can’t stress this enough: Get there early for the best spot. The Commons will have two stages for the crowd to watch. If you’re not an early riser and get a spot near the back of the crowd, large screens around the Campus Commons will still provide a great view.

There are two main ways to heighten your chances of getting your face on live television — either (again) show up early to get a front row spot behind the stage, or strategically place yourself and your group near a cable-suspended air camera.

And don’t forget: Wear purple, join the chants — and if you don’t know the Riff Ram Bah Zoo cheer, learn it before Saturday.

Create a Sign
Half the fun of attending College GameDay is making signs and appreciating other fans’ creativity. If you are bringing a sign, remember that ESPN has specific guidelines on what can appear on television. The show loves team jests, so long as they don’t include political messages; vulgarity; “.com,” “.net” or “.org”; and religious messages.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Just like TCU’s normal gameday guidelines, only clear bags are allowed at the GameDay event. This includes clear totes and ziplock bags, and you can find approved clear bags on TCU’s website and in other online stores. To avoid being turned away, make sure you don’t bring prohibited bags into the GameDay area after 5 a.m. on Saturday. Other prohibited items include coolers, large furniture and umbrellas (and, of course, no drugs, alcohol or weapons). Pets are also not allowed. Sorry, Fido.