Ready for some football? Duck Spring Game lowdown

Ready for some football? Duck Spring Game lowdown »Play Video

EUGENE – The University of Oregon’s annual Spring Football Game will kick off an afternoon of activities surrounding Autzen Stadium that will showcase a trio of the school’s intercollegiate athletics programs Saturday, April 27.

The Ducks’ two-hour intrasquad football scrimmage, presented by Bi-Mart, is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. in Autzen Stadium, culminating the program’s 15 spring practices under first-year head coach Mark Helfrich.

The scrimmage also will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.

Oregon is coming off a third-straight 12-win season (12-1) and a fourth-consecutive BCS bowl-game appearance.

Adding to the excitement, the Ducks’ nationally-ranked baseball team will entertain Stanford at 2 p.m. in PK Park, while the school’s women’s soccer program – under first-year head coach Kat Mertz – will host Oregon State in an exhibition match at Pape’ Field, beginning at 5 p.m.

Admission for the baseball game starts at $9, with the north-side ticket office opening at noon. The Ducks’ soccer exhibition will be free of charge.

In addition to showcasing a preview of the school’s 2013 football team, the Spring Game also will provide the opportunity to help replenish the county’s local food bank. Admission to the scrimmage will be three non-perishable food items, which will be donated to Food for Lane County.

The proceeds collected from last year’s Spring Game resulted in the accumulation of 72,537 pounds of food and $1,192.59 donated to the county food bank – a reported record for food donations to the local agency in a three-hour span.

For the fourth year in a row, the spring’s final scrimmage will provide the backdrop for the recognition of the nation’s armed services. Most of the pregame, halftime and postgame festivities will include participation from various branches of the armed forces, including a joint service color guard and ceremonies to honor the men and women from  the state and their families for the sacrifices of their time overseas, and a halftime flag-folding ceremony.

Following the scrimmage, Oregon football players will present their specially-made jerseys to approximately 100 uniformed men and women representing all branches of the military.

All service personnel also will be granted free admission to that afternoon’s Oregon baseball game with the accompaniment of their military ID.

Those in attendance at the Spring Game are encouraged to take advantage of free Sports Shuttles to and from Autzen Stadium, with departures from South Eugene High School (19th and Patterson) and the northwest parking lot of Valley River Center beginning at 9 a.m. Buses will continue to transport fans to Autzen Stadium until the start of the scrimmage and will return to the Park-and-Ride locations immediately after the conclusion of the game for a minimum of 30 minutes. The shuttles will not run continuously to and from the stadium during the expected two hours the game is in progress, and will not be available for spectators planning to remain for Oregon’s baseball game or soccer match.

Spectators driving to any of the events are encouraged to arrive early and car pool as much as possible. The Autzen Stadium east parking lot will open at 8:30 a.m. for a cost of $5 per vehicle. In addition, parking in many of the privately-managed properties surrounding the stadium are expected to be open for game-day parking opportunities.

The Moshofsky Center will remain open from 9 a.m. through 11 a.m., highlighted by interactive displays sponsored by branches of the armed forces, the Oregon National Guard and the Coast Guard. Included among the activities open to the general public will be an inflatable obstacle course and a display of military vehicles.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase in the Mo Plaza between the Moshofsky Center and Autzen Stadium, as well as on the main concourse on the south side of the stadium.

Stadium access for the general public will begin at 10 a.m. through gates on the east end, the south side and the southwest corner of Autzen Stadium. However due to the reconfiguration of the exterior on the north side of the facility, spectators will not be allowed to utilize seating along the north side of the stadium bowl.

Standard traffic control patterns and enforcement in effect during regular-season Oregon football home games will be utilized for traffic exiting the Autzen Stadium vicinity following the scrimmage. Motorists traveling northbound over the Ferry Street Bridge will not be allowed to turn eastbound onto Martin Luther King Blvd. from approximately 12:30 p.m. to about 3 p.m.