Visit Jackson talks preparation ahead of ESPN’s College GameDay at JSU

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 11:01 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Tens of thousands of people are expected to come to the Capital City this weekend, and why wouldn’t they?

ESPN’s College GameDay is heading to Jackson State for the big game.

Aside from that, it’s sort of like déjà vu. Here we are talking about preparations for another big weekend, just days after nearly 52,000 people packed Veterans Memorial Stadium for JSU’s homecoming.

With an even bigger crowd expected this coming weekend, Yolanda Clay-Moore with Visit Jackson encourages people to get to the stadium early, have some patience, carpool if you can, and take advantage of the group’s shuttle service.

“Traffic is going to be bazonkers if I can use that word,” she said.

That shuttle service runs from Smith-Wills stadium to Veterans Memorial from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and costs 20 dollars.

There will also be parking available at Fondren Church and Fondren Presbyterian Church. The cost is still $20, but no shuttles will be running from those areas.

Some who attended last weekend’s homecoming game said large crowds also caused concessions inside the stadium to run out of food and drinks just after halftime.

Clay-Moore said they’ll be better prepared this time around.

“We are a community that learns from our errors, and so I’m sure that they will beef up the amount of supply that they have to offer,” she said.

She said one of the biggest challenges with preparing for this weekend has been hotel accommodations.

Clay-Moore said her office received a Request for Proposal from ESPN for lodging for over 100 people.

“We were already near capacity as far as lodging was concerned before College Game Day made the announcement, and so that’s going to intrigue other people who may not even necessarily be fans but just want to be a part of that experience,” she said.

However, she said these are all good problems to have.

“Homecoming was a big week for the city of Jackson, and just when we came to breathe, we found out there was no air. We have not only Southern against Jackson State University but now ESPN College GameDay. That’s epic.”

Clay-Moore said a number of agencies will be on hand to provide security and control the crowds, including Capitol Police, highway patrol, the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office, and JPD.

The gates open at 10 am, and the game starts at 1 pm. GameDay begins at 8 am.

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