HARRISONBURG, Va. - James Madison football game days will have several new elements, highlighted by the new Duke Dog Spirit Walk.
The Spirit Walk will start two hours and 45 minutes prior to kickoff at the Godwin Transit Station, as the football team gather at the Godwin Transit Station near the student gate (Gate C). The Dukes will head around Godwin Hall and through the middle of Godwin Field, giving fans an opportunity to greet the team and coaches along the path to the Plecker Athletic Performance Center to get ready for the game.
There will also be a new Student Fan Zone at Hillside Field that will run from two-and-half-hours prior to 45 minutes prior to kickoff each home game. Student Duke Club members will be able to pick up their 2012-13 t-shirts at the Fan Zone. There will be a mix of live music and DJ this season, as well as food for the students. Corn hole and Kan Jam competitions will be held, while there will be prizes and giveaways each game day. Each Student Fan Zone day will have its own theme, including Beach, Mexican Fiesta, All-American, Mardi Gras, Purple Out and Pink Out.
Inside the stadium, fans will also have the ability to text to jmVu during both pre-game and halftime by using the appropriate texting code and tag. Presented by nTelos Wireless, the text-to-screen brings a new level of interactivity during those time periods as well as the ability to receive special offers from various JMU Athletic sponsors.
Closed captioning is also available at Bridgeforth Stadium this year. There are two options for receiving the text, as users can login through their smartphone or Kindle readers that can be checked out from the Fan Information booth on the lower concourse.
Each week of the season, there will also be a special Twitter hash tag for each football game, giving fans the ability to track the discussion on each opponent and game day. For the opening game, the hash tag is #jmu-sfu and all future ones will be posted on the Game Day page on JMUSports.com.
All of this joins the previously announced MadiZONE change to free this year for all live HD broadcasts of JMU Athletics, including football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, baseball and softball.
The Dukes open the 2012 football season on Sat., Sept. 1 at 6 p.m., hosting Saint Francis (Pa.).