Mental and physical health, as well as good community involvement are cornerstones of Thomas Jefferson’s university, the University of Virginia. And many of its students hold dear the Honor Code, team spirit and intellectual pursuits as it should be.
Football weekends have come to embody more than just the actual field-time game. Today, there are classroom lectures offered by More Than The Score; football players (and horses) on the field; music from the marching band; and to boot, a tailgate for the public, the Cavalier Countdown Tailgate.
Whether a football fan or not, visiting Charlottesville in the fall, in any year, actually requires the traveler to be aware of and account for University of Virginia (UVa) football games. Hotels, restaurants, interstates, parking lots and local roadways are overloaded on these weekends with all the fans, out-of-town guests, students and parents who come to town to witness Wahoowah.
And that list doesn’t even include all the fall festival goers or the fact that Charlottesville is just such a great place to visit with a lot to offer. So when planning your next trip Charlottesville, it’s wise to know when the football crowds are likely to be in town. If your planning to attend the football festivities, no worries. But if you were coming to town for a peaceful retreat, maybe a new date selection is in order.
If you can, plan your trip for another weekend. If plans are not that flexible, at least try to be aware of kick-off times, and plan your activities accordingly to give UVa grounds, U.S. Route 29, Barracks Road and the Fifth Street and 250 Bypass Exits from Interstate 64 a wide berth.
University of Virginia football game dates are subject to change. Kickoff times will be announced closer to the date. Here’s the actual schedule for football weekends in 2013:
- Sat., Aug. 31 BYU
- Sat., Sept. 7 Oregon
- Sat. Sept. 21 VMI
- Sat., Sept. 28 at Pitt
- Sat., Oct. 5 Ball State
- Sat., Oct. 12 at Maryland
- Sat., Oct 19 Duke
- Sat. Oct. 26 Georgia Tech
- Sat., Nov. 2 Clemson
- Sat., Nov. 9 at North Carolina
- Sat., Nov. 23 at Miami
- Sat., Nov. 30 Virginia Tech
See this UVa football weekends site for official kick-off times and for other information on other football weekend activities such as More Than the Score and Cavalier Countdown Tailgate. Both of these activities make an UVa football game a full-day event, and perhaps, even a weekend destination in and of itself.
The More Than The Score lectures are held at Alumni Hall at 10:00 a.m. the Saturday before the game with topics ranging from politics to extraterrestrial beings. The Cavalier Countdown Tailgate offers a buffet menu from a local restaurant, a cash bar, local brews, a live band, and is set-up as a family-friendly environment. Shuttle bus service from Alumni Hall to Scott Stadium is offered on a first-come basis 50 minutes before kick-off and again 30 minutes before kick-off. There is, however, no return shuttle.
Topics for the 2013 football season’s More Than The Score lecture series are listed below.
- Aug. 31: “Renovating the Rotunda”
- Sept. 7: “Are We Alone? Extraterrestrial Intelligence”
- Sept. 21: “Is it possible to eradicate Alzheimer’s disease in our lifetime?”
- Oct. 5: “Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball” (No Longer accepting registrations.)
- Oct. 26: Homecoming, “The Economics of Beer and Wine: Sibling Industries”
- Nov. 2: “Waking up to Wisdom and Well-Being”
- Nov. 30: “Wild Weather: Never a Dull Season in Virginia”
For general information about the program see the article, “Football season at the University of Virginia incorporates “Lifetime Learning”. Although free and open to all, registration for these lectures is required.
Earlier in August, pre-game activities came to town, including a parade on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall, autographs for the asking by Cavalier sport team members, and free pom-poms from the Cavalier Cheerleaders at Fridays After Five. The Cavalier Marching Band kicked-off the football season by Paint[ing] the Town Orange. The whole marching band paraded down the entire length of the Charlottesville Downtown Pedestrian Mall, performing its way to the applause and cheers of adoring fans. The band, joined by the UVa Cheerleaders, gave a final performance at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion.
College football isn’t just a game anymore; at UVa it’s a full-on event.
Don’t forget to look into parking options for football game day visitors. And definitely allow time to get off the Interstate; into a garage; walk significant distances (15-20+ minutes) or wait for bus rides; and then once the game is all over, repeat the process in reverse order. UVa’s traffic flow management has improved over the years (Multiple yearly concerts at Scott Stadium and the new John Paul Jones Arena providing great incentives for said improvements.), but non-game attending locals generally might not even try to go into town for two hours on either side of a game day kick off.
Parking options include:
- FREE parking at University Hall (300 Massie Rd.) and the John Paul Jones Arena (295 Massie Road), but allow for a brisk 15-20 minute walk to Scott Stadium.
- $10 to park at Central Grounds Parking Garage (400 Emmet St.) or the Emmet/Ivy Street Parking Garage (123 Emmet St.), on a first come basis, with a slightly shorter walk.
- Parking at Alumni Hall is reserved for UVa Alumni Association Life Members
For actual game ticket information, get in touch with the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 800-542-UVA1. Plan to make all the games? Think about purchasing a season ticket.