The University of Oregon’s final spring football scrimmage also will serve to recognize and offer support for the country’s armed forces and auxiliary organizations, according to an announcement Wednesday by the Ducks’ head coach Chip Kelly.
The annual Spring Game presented by Bi-Mart, which culminates the Ducks’ off-season drills, will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 1, in Autzen Stadium and is scheduled to be televised nationally by ESPN.
The “Support Our Troops and Families” tribute will include a four-hour Fan Fest in the Moshofsky Center prior to the final intrasquad scrimmage, as well as representation from branches of the nation’s armed services, the Oregon National Guard, the Coast Guard, the American Red Cross and various veterans’ organizations.
All Oregon players will wear specially designed jerseys for the occasion, which will be given to the troops immediately following the game, while Nike also will donate 5,000 t-shirts, with all proceeds from the sales forwarded to families of deployed troops and returning veterans.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to not only pay our respects for the sacrifices men and women around the country make every day and are often taken for granted but also allow our players to put some of their priorities into perspective,” Kelly said.
Admission for the Spring Game again will be a request of three non-perishable food items, which will be do-nated to Food for Lane County. Last year, the final spring scrimmage generated more than 22,000 pounds of food for the local food bank.
Parking in the east Autzen Stadium lots will be $5 per automobile, with the Ducks’ Sports Shuttles also operating from select locations.
The indoor Fanfest, which begins at 10 a.m., will include interactive games, live entertainment, a food court as well as provide educational booths and an outreach for veteran service organizations and military personnel.
Much of the pregame festivities will include participation from the armed services, including a joint service color guard and ceremonies to honor the men and women from the state and their families, who have sacrificed their lives overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.