Coming off its most successful season in nearly 20 years, the Duke football team is preparing to open the 2014 season Aug. 30 to a packed crowd at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Once again, faculty, staff and their families can cheer the Blue Devils on to victory for free as part of this year’s Employee Kickoff Celebration. The annual event takes place during Duke’s opening game against Elon University.
Kickoff for the game is 6 p.m., but the pre-game festivities, including music, inflatable games, face art and catered meal for those who receive free tickets, start three hours prior to kickoff at Krzyzewskiville outside Card Gymnasium.
Starting today, employees can reserve up to four free tickets to the game. Children under 2-years old don't need a ticket and tickets can be picked up at Wallace Wade Stadium through the first quarter of this year's game.
Last year, Duke faculty and staff claimed about 8,450 tickets and helped fill Wallace Wade Stadium with just over 30,100 fans. That game ended in a 38-31 win over Troy, one of 10 victories for Duke in 2013.
“I heard everyone talking about Employee Kickoff and how much fun they had in the past, so it was a good reason to get out, relax and spend time with my kids,” said Kelan Beacham, a insurance manager with Duke's Student Health Center who last year attended the Employee Kickoff for the first time. “It’s nice hanging out with coworkers and seeing people I used to work with.”
In 2013, the Blue Devils went 10-4 overall and finished 6-2 in conference play, winning the ACC Coastal Division. Over the course of last season, the Blue Devils’ high-flying offense averaged 39 points per game at home, just one point less than the 40 they averaged at home in 2012.
As part of the game day festivities, fans can cheer on the Blue Devils at 3:30 p.m. as the team walks through "Blue Devil Alley" on its way into Wallace Wade Stadium before the game. The Employee Kickoff, sponsored by Duke Athletics and Human Resources.
“Each year, we look forward to the Kickoff Celebration as a way to bring our community together and show our Duke spirit,” said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration. “Last year was a big step for Blue Devil football and this year’s game offers a great time to celebrate the accomplishments of the team and all the valuable work our faculty and staff do for Duke.”
Ticket pick up option
New this year, employees can pick up tickets prior to game day. Early ticket pick up will take place at the the North Gate Ticket Booth outside Wallace Wade Stadium on Whiteford Drive, across from Cameron Indoor Stadium. A valid DukeCard is necessary and temporary parking will be available next to the North Gate Ticket Booth in Cameron Circle.
If faculty and staff choose to pick up their tickets early, they will not be able to access the catered meal on game day. Employees who do pick up their tickets at the game and not early will have access to the meal. The food tent is open from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on game day.