CHAMPAIGN, lll., (WCIA) — 44,910 fans flocked to Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon to watch the Illini take on the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Brett Moore with Illinois Athletics said that’s the biggest crowd since 2016.

People dressed in layers, but still sported their orange and blue.

Lines filled Grange Grove as tailgaters made their way into the stadium.

Fans said they could feel the energy, Emily Zelhart, a season ticket holder, describing it as “electric.”

“You can tell with the tailgate parties, a lot of the people, there’s a lot of people here, and a lot of excitement when the team arrived earlier,” Zelhart said. “Everybody was excited to come up and greet them when they got here and cheer them on. So, you can definitely tell the energy level is really high.”

She said the game felt different because of the crowds and hopes her young daughters can continue to experience this type of atmosphere in the future.