It’s the first game of the season and you’re all fired up and ready to go support the Terps! The problem is, you’ve never been to a home game before and you don’t know what to expect. “How do I not make a fool out of myself?” you may be wondering. Not to worry. Here are the 5 things you need to know before attending a home football game at the University of Maryland.
1. Know how you are going to get there and where to park
DOTS is notorious for closing down random streets and forcing people out of parking lots right before the game starts. Make sure you know where you can park and if you don’t know, make sure to ask. Parking is free for staff and students can get a free parking permit to be on campus the day of the game. Guests need to pay $17 for a permit though. Don’t be a fool and get towed by parking where you are not allowed!
2. You don’t have to pay anything if you’re a UMD student
Believe it or not, UMD does not charge you anything to go to its games. That’s right, you can get into all the games completely free! UMD is perhaps the only school in the Big 10 that does this. Of course, you will have to go down to the ticket office or go online to reserve your game ticket (first come first serve). Some of the later game tickets (the in demand ones) will be done using a lottery system. You only get in the lottery if you attend the earlier games, so if you want to get tickets to the playoff games, you’ll need to attend a few of the openers as well!
3. Know the UMD victory song
There are many traditions here at UMD, one of them being the UMD victory song. This is sung at halftime during every home game to rally the players towards victory. The song is taught to all incoming freshmen at orientation. If you don’t know it, do try to learn it. The Maryland home crowd is very enthusiastic and you don’t want to be the only one not knowing the words.
4. Beware of riots afterwards
Riots?! What do you mean? Well, remember that the home crowd is very spirited. Maybe even a little too much so in that riots can break out regardless of a win. When the basketball team won the NCAA championship against Indiana in 2002, 5000 student rioted in the streets. And in 2001, $500,000 worth of damage was caused by upset students after they burned buildings, smashed storefronts and attacked police just because Maryland lost to Duke. Oh Maryland, why do you have to be so rowdy?
5. Don’t buy booze at the game
UMD might just be one of the few schools that sells alcohol at football games. If you’re over 21, you can buy booze by the tap. It’s not a really smart idea to be drinking during the game though. Alcohol can lead to poor decision choices like perhaps participating in the aforementioned riots that tend to break out randomly. You don’t want to get into legal trouble just for enjoying yourself a bit too much do you? Watch the game, but do it while sober please.
UMD is a party school and boy do people there like to celebrate during football games! Hopefully you’ve learned 5 ways to prepare yourself before you go to a home game. Remember, don’t drink during the game. Know where you can park. Know the victory song and don’t act like a fool. And above all, stay safe and leave well before any riots break out because the last thing you want to be is in the middle of a riot with police charging at you and tear gas in the air.