CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — Changes are on the way to Memorial Stadium ahead of Saturday’s next home game. They come after long lines and wait times at the season opener versus Wyoming. 

Cassie Arner, the senior associate director of athletics, said they wanted to act fast.

She said it’s all about adding more staff, especially at the gates when entering the stadium. She said that at the last game, they didn’t have enough people to direct traffic flow. 

Now, Arner said they’re working to be over-staffed at their busiest points at least half an hour before game time, that way people can be inside before kick-off. She said that includes bringing in other staff members within the athletic department to supplement at busy times. 

Arner said it’s easy to communicate with fans inside Memorial Stadium over the PA system, but it’s difficult when they’re outside tailgating. She hopes fireworks help with that. 

“We’re going to shoot them off at 60 minutes prior to kick so people can hear that first loud boom and realize there are about 60 minutes before the game starts,” she said. 

Fireworks will go off as a 25-minute warning as well.  

Once fans are inside, she hopes more workers at concession stands will decrease wait times for food and drink. Students involved in Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and members of the community volunteer to help staff most of the concession stands.

Allison Cerullo volunteers with Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity. She said she sees the longest lines for food during halftime. 

“Definitely make sure that you walk up to the concession stand with an idea of what you want to order, it just makes it faster for us and faster for the people behind you,” Cerullo said. 

Arner said new water stations could help with lines too. 

“Fans may or may not know they can bring in an empty, clear water bottle. We’re putting out stations in five different locations for free water,” she said.

For more game day information, check out the “Game Day Guide” on the Illinois Athletics website.