Plenty of activities are on tap for Auburns fans to enjoy this weekend both before the Tigers square off against Akron on Saturday in the season-opener for both teams.
This weekend will mark the first time tailgating has been allowed on the Auburn University campus prior to a football game since the fall of 2019. While masks are not required outdoors on campus, they are required indoors and on public transit buses.
"We appreciate the patience and understanding of Auburn fans throughout the pandemic,” Athletic Director Allen Greene said in a news release. “We invite Auburn fans and our out-of-town guests to safely enjoy being outdoors as we gather on seven Saturdays this season.”
The fun starts in downtown Auburn on Friday with the return of Come Home to the Corner, an entertainment district event that wasn't held last season due to the pandemic. The event will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, with live entertainment starting at 6 p.m. and extended shopping hours.
"We are excited to bring it back," said Jessica Kohn, downtown coordinator for the Downtown Merchants Association. "Come Home to the Corner is really just a welcome back to our visitors and fans, the away team's fans — just a way to bring them downtown.
"It should just be a nice kickoff to the first football game weekend."
Auburn fans heading downtown will have plenty of parking options that weren't available last season, including two new parking decks — one at AuburnBank off of Burton Street and a public parking deck off of Wright Street, which is now two-way and accessible from Magnolia and Glenn avenues.
Also on Friday, the University will bring back tours of the football locker room. The tours will run from 4 to 6 p.m. Those wanting to attend a tour should enter Jordan-Hare Stadium through Gate 10. Face coverings will be required.
The Southeastern Raptor Center will also be hosting its Football, Fans and Feathers show starting at 4 p.m. on Friday. The hour-long educational show will allow an up-close look at birds of prey. Tickets are $8 per person, and free for children ages 3 and under. Gates open one hour prior to the show.
The show will be held at the Edgar B. Carter Educational Amphitheater at 1350 Pratt-Carden Drive off of Shug Jordan Parkway.
Tailgating on campus will also open at 4 p.m. Friday except for along the Mell Street corridor, which opens at 6 p.m. Tailgating and parking for the Hayfields, East Coliseum lots and CDV lots will open a bit earlier on Friday at 2 p.m.
On Saturday, favorite Auburn traditions will return, including Tiger Walk two hours before kickoff. Tiger Walk will be abbreviated and the route widened to protect players. The eagle flight will also be making a return 20 minutes before kickoff.
Gates at Jordan-Hare Stadium will open two hours before kickoff of Auburn's season-opener against Akron. The game is slated to start at 6 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN+ and SEC Network+.