Welcome to this week’s installment of the Game of the Week Game Day Guide which features the SEC matchup between the Auburn Tigers and the Arkansas Razorbacks. This is the third edition of the Game of the Week Game Day Guide and will continue each week of the 2010 football season. This week we travel to the rolling plains of Dixie in Auburn, Ala., home of the Auburn Tigers.
The Saturday festivities in Auburn begin well before the opening kick-off. Parking opens for RV’s on Thursday afternoon, although tailgating is not officially permitted on campus until 4 p.m. on Friday. The tailgating experience at Auburn has been tabbed by Fox Sports as a top place in the country to tailgate, referring to the scene as, “southern eye-candy.” The Auburn campus is a buzz with activities for home games and Tiger fans and visitors can enjoy a host of game day traditions.
Approximately two hours prior to kickoff, the beloved Tiger Walk takes place. This tradition originated at Auburn in the 1960s and has grown into one of the most popular pre-game traditions in all of college football. Fans line Donahue Drive, which leads to Jordan-Hare Stadium, as the football team walks from Sewell Hall into the stadium for the game. The dedicated Tiger fans park their cars on Donahue Drive on Friday night to reserve the best possible spot to view the Tiger Walk. The most famous Tiger Walk was the Tiger Walk of 1989, the first time the Alabama Crimson Tide came to Auburn’s campus and played at Jordan-Hare Stadium. A record 20,000 fans were in attendance and many say this event marked Auburn’s arrival to the main stage of college football. The Tiger Walk even takes place on road games, separating it even further from other program’s pregame walks.
At Auburn, the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue is famously known as Toomer’s Corner, named after Toomer’s Drugs, a drug store on the corner of the two streets. This corner marks the meeting of Auburn the city to Auburn the university. Two large oak trees sit at this corner and often become adorned with toilet paper as rolling Toomer’s Corner has become a tradition for the students. Toomer’s Drugs is known for their “special formula” lemonade. A trip to Auburn is not complete without a stop at Toomer’s Corner.
Auburn offers game day excitement for fans of all ages. Families can enjoy the Coca-Cola Tiger Fan Fest on the Coliseum Lawn that begins three hours prior to kickoff. The Fan Fest includes inflatables and games for children, autograph sessions with Auburn student-athletes, music and concessions. The Fan Fest also hosts the Auburn Network Broadcast team prior to all home games.
A tradition many Auburn fans say is their favorite is the flight of the eagle. This tradition did not began until the 2000 season when War Eagle VI, called Tiger, flew freely around the stadium and landed on the field as Auburn fans chanted, “War Eagle.” This event occurs prior to kickoff and has been referred to as one of the most awe-inspiring pregame traditions throughout college football. War Eagle VI is the most famous of the Auburn eagles having flown in Rice-Eccles Stadium as part of the opening ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. War Eagle VI was also featured on NBC’s Today Show following the Olympic debut. Even though the official mascot of Auburn is Aubie the tiger, the War Eagle represents the spirit of Auburn, serving as a symbol for the school and also being the title of the school’s fight song. Once, the game kicks-off, Jordan-Hare Stadium continues with chants of, “War Eagle” throughout the game hoping to cheer Auburn on to a victory.