Barnhart excited for Illini fans

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Everyone is excited to watch the Fighting Illini in person this season, and announcers say they’re really looking forward to have fans in the stands.

Illini Announcer Brian Barnhart says he had the chance to announce games during the pandemic, but it just wasn’t the same without any fans cheering on the team in person.

“Announcing play-by-play is great, but I think we probably took it for granted that fans are there to add that atmosphere and excitement. For broadcasters in this league and across the country, it was just really strange,” Barnhart said.

Barnhart says he’s really looking forward to announcing the first game of the season.

It kicks off Saturday at Memorial Stadium against Nebraska.

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