U of I's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics is hosting their Sports Fest this upcoming weekend. Events include autograph sessions, spirit wear sales, food, and more. Admission is free and all events are open to the public.
FOOTBALL PRACTICE AND AUTOGRAPH SESSION: To mark the end of spring football's preparation for the 2018 season, head coach Lovie Smith will host an open practice inside Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 7 at 12 p.m. Following practice, fans are invited down on the field for an autograph session with the team and coaching staff. Fans will enter Memorial Stadium through the West gates and all seating will be available on the West side only.
FAMILY FUN FEST: Weather permitting, Grange Grove will be open to fans prior to the practice. Beginning at 11 a.m., children ages 12 and under can take part in a Family Fun Fest inside Grange Grove, featuring inflatables, games, and skills-testing events. Kids can test their abilities in the obstacle course, bungee run, kick for accuracy, run the 40-yard dash, ropes running course and pass for accuracy. There will also be inflatable games, a uniform try-on station, Kona Ice, and face painting.
ANNUAL MERCHANDISE SALE: The Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, in conjunction with Gameday Spirit Fan Store, will host a Fighting Illini merchandise sale on Saturday, April 7, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the north end of the Great West Hall of Memorial Stadium. Shoppers will be able to purchase used University of Illinois team-issued gear in addition to new officially licensed Fighting Illini clothing and souvenirs at discount prices.
FREE PARKING: Free parking for all events at Memorial Stadium – football practice, merchandise sale, Family Fun Fest – will be available in the four quadrants of the State Farm Center. Parking for softball and men's tennis is located on the corner of Florida Ave. and Goodwin Ave.
FOOTBALL REUNION BBQ: Former football players and support staff are invited to the annual Football Reunion BBQ on Friday, April 6, in the Colonnades Club at 6:30 pm. Former Players are also invited to attend the Friday closed practice inside Memorial Stadium. For more information about the reunion and to RSVP, contact Lee Zerrusen in the Varsity "I" office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOFTBALL: The Illinois softball team will host Maryland for a three-game series at Eichelberger Field. The Illini will take on the Terrapins at 5 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and at noon on Sunday. The Friday night matchup is Military Appreciation Night with a special large American Flag demonstration and camouflage beanie giveaway. On Saturday, Little Leaguers and Scouts are invited out for free patches and t-shirts. There will also be a $6 family meal deal for all in attendance and a post-game autograph session. On Sunday, Kids Take over the Ballpark and are able to take on staff responsibilities on gameday. Fidget spinners will be given away, hot dogs will be just $2 and a free post-game youth clinic will be available. Youth clinic registration is here. Kids Club members will have an opportunity to tour the clubhouse following the game.
MEN'S TENNIS: The seventh-ranked men's tennis team will take on B1G foes No. 8 Michigan and Michigan State in a Saturday-Sunday series, respectively. Each match begins at 12 p.m. at the Atkins Tennis Center. Saturday's match against the Wolverines is International Day with a commemorative t-shirts given away to 200 fans. Free Jimmy John's sandwiches will also be given away. Sunday's match against the Spartans features free Papa John's pizza and Illini Hail to the Orange flags.
VOLLEYBALL: The nationally ranked Illinois volleyball team will host Bradley for a spring season competition on Friday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at Huff Hall.