Football season is finally here. That means tailgates on tailgates and hours spent cheering on the Canes at Hard Rock Stadium. It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement, forgetting some essentials along the way—so The Hurricane took care of it for you. Here is everything you need to know about game day as a Canes fan.
WHEN TO GO
The first home game of the season is this Saturday against Savannah State. Freshmen can get into Hard Rock Stadium early for a special cookout and the annual Freshman Walk before the rest of the student body arrives. Freshman shuttles will depart starting at 2 p.m.
Later, on Oct. 6, the Canes will face off against ACC rival Florida State in the most highly-anticipated game of the year, and homecoming weekend will conclude with a bout against the Duke Blue Devils on Nov. 3.
UM will play five away games this season, at Toledo, Virginia, Boston College, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. But don’t worry about making the drive—watch parties can be found all around campus, from the Rathskeller to residential college lobbies.
HOW TO GET THERE
For home games, UM offers free shuttles to the stadium from Stanford Circle starting three hours prior to kickoff. Buses returning from the stadium will begin loading at halftime and continue until thirty minutes after the post-game show.
New this year, students attending approved tailgating parties on San Amaro Drive will also be able to board shuttles in lot 721 behind the Lambda Chi Alpha house three hours before the game—though the buses will only stop here for half an hour. Past the thirty-minute window, students will need to board at Stanford Circle.
WHAT TO WEAR
A good tailgate outfit gives students the chance to express their school spirit while also dressing for a long day of Miami weather.
“It’s definitely good to wear stuff that doesn’t show sweat marks because you will sweat a lot,” said Joey Haas, a junior from Littleton, Colorado. “Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty but are comfortable for long-wear. Sunglasses are key since it gets insanely hot here and sunny, plus they add to any outfit.”
But don’t be afraid to get creative when representing UM, and be sure to watch for game day themes—Category 5, the spirit programming board, often designates special “blackout,” “think pink” or “wear orange” games.
Need to stash your wallet and sunglasses somewhere? Per stadium guidelines, you can bring a clear plastic tote or backpack up to 12″ by 12″ in size, as well as a small clutch bag the size of your hand or smaller. Fanny packs and larger non-transparent bags cannot be brought into the stadium.
For more outfit inspo, check out this game day look book.
WHERE TO TAILGATE
With last season’s new tailgating rules at Hard Rock, UM offers a Student Fan Zone in the covered northwest section of the stadium. The Fan Zone has free food, water and games, and is aimed at keeping students hydrated and safe before they move on to other tailgate parties. It opens 2 ½ to three hours before the start of all home games.
Student organizations and fraternities will now also have dedicated tailgating spots next to the Fan Zone. Read more about the updated policy here.
WHAT TO CHEER
In order to truly transform into a Miami Hurricane fanatic, you’ll have to participate in UM’s most famous traditions. A staple cheer that UM students know and love stars the Canes mascot, Sebastian the Ibis. The entire crowd chants “C! A! N! E! S!” along with Sebastian as he spells it out, YMCA-style.
At the start of the last quarter, whether the team is winning or losing, fans raise four fingers to show their belief that the “Cardiac Canes” win games in the crucial fourth period. And if you stay until the end of the game, you’ll hear hundreds of Canes crooning UM’s Alma Mater:
Southern suns and sky blue water,
Smile upon you Alma mater;
Mistress of this fruitful land,
With all knowledge at your hand,
Always just to honor true,
All our love we pledge to you.
Alma Mater, stand forever
On Biscayne’s wondrous shore.
WHAT TO BRING
A long day of tailgating and cheering on the Canes calls for some essential supplies. Bring these nine things to make sure your game day is memorable for all the right reasons.
Florida isn’t called the ‘Sunshine State’ for nothing. Walking away without a sunburn or skin cancer is definitely worth the few extra seconds it takes to apply sunscreen.
- Tailgate Gear
UM fans love to wear their school spirit on their sleeves. Come decked out in orange and green to get the full game day experience—and maybe even land an appearance on the big screen.
- Cane Card
It is always a good idea to have your Cane card with you, but on game day it’s especially important. Your Cane card is what gets you onto the bus, into the game, and into the student section for free. Be ready to pull it out at any time.
Starting this year, students have to reserve tickets online before every game. Be sure to do this at least 24 hours before each game and keep your mobile tickets easily accessible.
- Water Bottle
It’s no secret that Miami gets hot. When you’re packed into a stadium with thousands of other fans, it gets even hotter. Staying hydrated is the key to an enjoyable football game. Be sure to drink lots of water and bring an extra bottle with you. Per Hard Rock rules, water bottles must be either disposable and factory-sealed or reusable and empty.
Football games can be long and tiring. You’ll want to keep your energy up, so having extra cash on hand for snack breaks is essential.
- Comfortable Sneakers
Miami fans have a lot of spirit, so you’ll be on your feet a lot. Wearing comfortable shoes will allow you to focus less on how tired you are and more on cheering on the team.
- Sunglasses or Hat
In addition to being hot, the sun can also be distracting—but Hurricanes season stops for no one. Wear a hat or sunglasses to help you catch every second of the game.
- Portable Charger
You’ll definitely want to take lots of pictures and videos and keep your friends and family who aren’t watching updated, but phone batteries don’t last forever. Keep a portable charger with you to maximize your game day experience or in case you get separated from your friends.
WHY WE LOVE IT
Sam Cordasco, a senior from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, said he’s among the many students who feel football season is the best part of the year.
“I love football season because it brings people together,” Cordasco said. “I think the atmosphere of our football games is very spirited as we all genuinely enjoy cheering for the Hurricanes. The best games are for sure the ones when we play FSU, it just doesn’t get better than that; the energy in the stadium is so electric.”
To keep up with the latest Canes football coverage, follow us on Twitter @MiamiHurricane and check our homepage for live score updates.