Grill smoke and anticipation filled the air at the Stadium Opening Party on Wednesday night as students gathered on the Dee J. Kelly Alumni Center lawn.
The party allowed the university community to pick up their free wristbands to the Thursday evening concert featuring Blake Shelton. Students also caught a sneak peak of the student section in the renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium.
“It’s been a two-year-long process,” SGA President Brent Folan said of the stadium unveiling. “This is our night, as students, to celebrate what we’ve been waiting for."
With the stadium’s grand opening and the Horned Frogs' first game just a couple days away, the students received a purple Big 12 Conference t-shirt with every wristband.
Alumnus Tim Halperin opened for the Grammy-nominated band The Fray last year in Campus Commons with nearly 5,000 in attendance.
Some students believe the new venue will not be able to contain the anticipated crowd. Junior political science major James Liu said the lawn might be too small if crowds are similar to last year's concert in the Commons.
“I’ve had [ROTC] formation on that lawn,” Liu said. “If [the concert] is projected to have as much as The Fray, it’s going to be too crowded.”
This year, facing off against four old rivals from the Southwest Conference now in the Big 12, students also believe that there is no other way to kick off this inaugural football season.
“With our move to the Big 12 and having our brand new stadium as a backdrop,” junior strategic communication major Emilie Christian said, “It’s the perfect setup.”