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Illinois Football games will now feature a pregame beer garden inside Grange Grove

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The athletic department announced several new additions to the area.

The Fighting Illini athletic department is preparing Grange Grove for its second season, and they’ve announced several new pregame features for the tailgating zone. The most noteworthy addition is a ‘beer garden’ that’ll be selling $5.00 Coors Light inside of a tent.

Here are the details for that particular section:

A new feature of Grange Grove this year will be a covered beer garden. Illini fans can purchase $5 Coors Light inside the tent, so there will be no need to bring your own cooler!

All drinks purchased in the beer garden must remain inside the tent, and no outside drinks will be permitted inside the tent. The tent is open to Illini fans of all ages, but wristbands and ID checks will be required in order to purchase a beverage.

The beer garden will open three hours prior to kickoff and last call is 30 minutes before kickoff. The tent will close at kickoff.

Coming from someone who’d eventually like to see alcohol sales inside Memorial Stadium, I think this is a really great idea. The only minor bit of negative feedback I have is in regards to the location restriction. That just seems like it'll discourage fans from actually using the space.

An on-site location for Gameday Spirit will also be featured inside Grange Grove; the 900 square-foot space will be open starting at 10:00am on Saturday morning. Lastly, a variety of food trucks are set for fans, including Cracked, Good 2 Go, Caribbean Grill, Kona Ice, and The Dinner Bell.

These all sound like some more fantastic improvements to the tailgating experience. I’m looking forward to seeing how everything operates this weekend!