Saturday’s second annual Colonial Clash against New Hampshire will mark the second and last time the Massachusetts football team will play at Gillette Stadium before the Minutemen make it their home for next year’s campaign.
The Colonial Clash began in 1952, and despite recent controversy surrounding UMass’ move to Gillette, last year’s event was very successful as it drew a record crowd of 32,848 fans and spectators. The two teams hope to draw an even larger crowd this year, as interest is rising around Boston from UMass alumni.
“For our younger guys, they’ll be looking at their future home,” said UMass coach Kevin Morris in a caafootball.com interview. “We’re getting a locker room built down there for us… It’s an unbelievable venue to play in. It’s one of the top professional venues in the country certainly for FCS football and even FBS football and it’s a great spot to be playing your home games.”
UMass was the away team last year when it fell to the Wildcats, 39-13.
On Monday, umassathletics.com released a schedule of events for the Colonial Clash.
The day will begin at 8 a.m., when Patriot Place parking lots will open for general retail stores and restaurant customers. All retail stores and restaurants throughout Patriot Place will be open on game day.
At 10:30 a.m., student and fan buses leave UMass from McGuirk Stadium to go to Foxboro. According to Google Maps, the trip is about 92 miles and will take almost two hours to complete.
At 11 a.m., CBS Scene, home of the UMass Pep Rally, opens to the public.
A half hour later, the Changes In Latitude music group will start playing. Changes In Latitude is an eight-member Jimmy Buffet tribute band, and, according to its website (changesinlatitudes.com), “Each show is good clean fun, aiming to offend no one, and entertain everyone. Every set is a party, with beach balls flying, dancing conga lines, and leis galore.”
At half-past noon, tailgating can begin in the parking lots. Take note, parking lots directly adjacent to the retail stores and the movie theater are prohibited from tailgating. Tailgating in all other parking lots is permitted.
The Gillette Ticket Office will also open for ticket sales at 12:30 p.m. The ticket office is located in the Patriot Place Plaza near the ProShop and CBS Scene.
At 1:15 p.m., the UMass Minuteman Marching Band will play to greet the UMass football team in the plaza at the Pep Rally. Featured at the event will be the UMass Cheerleaders, the UMass Drum Corps, the Colonial Honor Guard and mascot, Sam the Minuteman.
The Pep Rally will pick up at 1:30 p.m., when it officially begins at CBS Scene.
At 2 p.m., fans will be able to enter Gillette Stadium as its gates open. Ushers will be available to help fans to their seats, and although the game won’t begin for another hour and a half, fans are free to roam about the rows and concourses at their leisure.
Just after 2 p.m., fans will get what they’re eager to see when both teams will take to the field for warm-ups. Once those warm-ups are complete, Comcast SportsNet On The Air will begin at 3:30 p.m. for a pregame report. Finally, kickoff is scheduled for 3:36 p.m.
At halftime, both the UMass Minuteman Marching Band and the UNH Marching Band will perform, and if last season was any indication, each band looks to impress yet again.
“It’s one of those good regional rivalries that you got to have,” said Morris. “Unfortunately [after moving to the FBS] we’ll be moving on from it but we’ll try to take advantage of this weekend and take advantage of that tradition and that history and have a great outing.”
Steve Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.