When Chris Delionbach heard about last year's Employee Kick-Off Celebration, he made sure to mark it on his calendar.
This year will be no different, as Delionbach plans to join thousands of his Duke peers to cheer on the Blue Devil football team during its home opener Sept. 3 against the University of Richmond. For the Employee Kick-Off Celebration last year, about 9,000 employees and their friends and family joined a sellout crowd of 33,941 at Wallace Wade Stadium.Read More
Faculty and staff can request up to four free tickets for this year's game and pre-game festivities, which start at 4 p.m. in the "Employee Fan Zone" at Krzyzewskiville, on the grass area outside Card Gymnasium. The Fan Zone will close at 6:30 p.m. just prior to the 7 p.m. kick off. The event, sponsored by Duke Athletics and Human Resources, also includes fireworks during halftime of the game.
"The Employee Kick-Off was a great opportunity to hang out with coworkers outside the workplace," said Delionbach, a data technician with the Department of Gastroenterology. "This event is important because it reminds us as employees to get out and support the athletes who spend so much time preparing for their games. It also shows there's a large community here that gladly supports Duke Athletics."
As part of the event, staff, faculty and their family members can enjoy entertainment and a free catered meal. At 4:30 p.m., fans have the chance to be a part of the "Blue Devil Alley" walk football team march to the stadium. Duke Athletics will also host a pre-game radio broadcast by The Buzz 620 AM at 6 p.m. from Morton Plaza, which is the space between the Schwartz-Butters Athletic Center and Cameron Indoor Stadium.
"The first game sets the tone for the season, and there's no better way to begin than by opening with a stadium full of Duke employees and their family members cheering us on," said David Cutcliffe, head coach of the football team. "Faculty and staff are part of our team and our success."
Each Duke employee can reserve up to four tickets by visiting goduke.com/employee or calling (919) 681-8738. A DukeCard is required to pick up tickets on game day.
"The annual Employee Kick-Off celebration is one way to come together as a Duke community and recognize all the tremendous work that occurs on a day-to-day basis," said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration. "Over the past three years, the program has become an excellent opportunity to support our student-athletes as they continue to build a solid program."
A message to employees from David Cutcliffe.
In addition to free tickets to the Sept. 3 game against University of Richmond, Duke faculty and staff can purchase deeply discounted tickets to the entire season with the 2011-12 Employee Athletic Pass.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early and review the following parking and shuttle information:
Employee Appreciation Contest
As a way of thanking faculty and staff for their support, Duke Athletics is conducting an Employee Appreciation contest. Anyone who signs up to stay informed about special updates and ticket offers during the year will be entered into a drawing for two tickets to a Duke men's ACC basketball home game, football tickets and more.
Game Day Parking & Shuttles
Parking is free only for Duke employees who present a valid 2012 or 2013 Duke parking permit. Otherwise, parking costs $10 (cash only).
To make it easier for fans to get to the game, Duke Parking and Transportation Services will run shuttles from off-site public parking lots, where employees are encouraged to park. Shuttles will travel between the H Lot and PGI to the Chapel Drive circle, in front of Duke Chapel. Shuttles will run from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (or until one hour after the game) every 15 to 20 minutes, depending on traffic flow. Pick-up locations will be the intersections of Flowers Drive/Yearby Avenue and Flowers Drive/Trent Drive. The drop-off location will be the intersection of Flowers Drive/Trent Drive.
Additional public parking will be available in the Chemistry and Circuit Drive lots, but these lots will not include shuttle service. General public parking for persons with disabilities will be located in the B-2, B-4 and B-7 portions of the Blue Zone. An accessible lift-equipped van will be available for individuals needing wheelchair lift assistance.
Employees can find plenty of other game day information - including directions, parking guidelines and more - with Duke Athletics' "A-Z Gameday Guide."