Rain or shine, fans plan to attend the Boombox Classic and ESPN’s College Gameday

Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Tens of thousands of football fans are headed to the capital city for this weekend’s matchup between Jackson State and Southern University. The Boombox Classic is only hours away, but so is major change in the weather.

Partly sunny skies beamed down on JSU’s home field Friday but will the downpours forecast for Saturday’s ESPN Gameday dampen the day for fans?

“Rain or shine I’ll be here,” said Jerry Porter.

The Mississippi Valley State graduate and JSU fan was at MS Veteran’s Memorial Stadium Friday hoping to see ESPN Gameday commentator and Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard. The blue skies are forecast to give way to downpours Saturday, but that won’t stop his cheering on the Tigers.

“I’m expecting to see rain, but since this might be the only time Gameday is coming to Jackson I’m going to be here, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

He’s not alone.

“I already bought my raincoat, and I’m going to get me some rain pants,” said James Warren.

The JSU fan has been going to Tiger games since his father brought him as a child. He also plans to be in the stands.

“Go get yourself a raincoat. Go buy you some rain boots and get here Saturday,” said Warren. “Rain sleet or snow we’ve got to cheer Jackson State on.”

Jackson State University Police, the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department, and Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks are coordinating for an anticipated crowd of nearly 60,000. No umbrellas are allowed in the stadium. Only digital tickets are accepted and no tickets will be on sale Saturday at the stadium.

“With the magnitude of the game both teams being in first place in their respective division a lot on the line. That adds to the gumbo if you will,” said JSU Associate Athletics Director Duane Lewis. “Both teams always have a great rivalry, Jackson State Southern football as we both know. So it’s going to be a very exciting game. Rain or shine hopefully more shine than rain.”

Officials said the game will proceed unless there is lightning within a six-mile radius of the stadium.

“I’m glad that Gameday is here to represent and showcase all of the HBCUs. I think it’s a great moment for HBCUs,” added Porter. “Very happy for the program, and we wish them the best.”

A majority of the stadium gates will be open at 10 a.m.

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