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Your Guide To College GameDay In Happy Valley

Much to the excitement of many Penn State football fans, ESPN College GameDay announced it’s heading to Happy Valley this weekend for the first time since 2009. The Nittany Lions, in their newly minted No. 2 spot in the AP Top 25, will take on No. 19 Michigan in a primetime White Out showdown.

To add to the hype, the GameDay set will be in front of iconic Old Main. Thanks to some loyal Penn State fans, the improbable has happened.

But with all of the excitement surrounding this upcoming Saturday, it’s important to understand how College GameDay works, what you can and cannot bring, what you should know about the show, and more.

When To Arrive

Arrival time is key if you’re interested in maximizing your own screen time and your chances of getting as close to die-hard Penn Stater Kirk Herbstreit as possible. “The Pit,” or where all of the camera attention goes throughout the broadcast, will open at 6:30 a.m. Overnight camping isn’t allowed, but fans can start lining up at 4 a.m.

Taping will start at 9 a.m., and with the hype surrounding it all, you can expect Penn State fans to show up early. If you want a spot in the pit, it may be necessary to get to the Old Main Lawn by 6:30 a.m. at the latest.

ESPN Rules To Be Aware Of

Here’s what you need to know about entering the pit:

  • Fans entering the pit will be checked by a security wand (as Penn State students are now accustomed to)
  • No bags, backpacks, or purses may be brought into the pit

And here’s the big one, folks:

  • No offensive, vulgar, inappropriate, or solicitation signage will be allowed (this means no political, religious,  .com, .org, or .net signage)
  • No signs on a stick

DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT attach your sign to a stick if you are hoping to get into the pit.

  • No food or drinks
  • Throwing of objects is prohibited

That last one is certainly on the obvious side, but there are some pretty important rules to keep in mind here.

What To Expect

Expect mayhem — the good and the bad. You can expect the best atmosphere in the country to be right here on campus all throughout the day Saturday. The White Out will be in full effect, and crazy fans will be showing off their Penn State spirit for all of the college football world to see. There may be some difficulties, however.

Navigating in and out of the pit, if that is where you decide to go, will not be easy. You could easily lose your spot if you need to, say, use the bathroom. And as previously mentioned, you will not be able to bring food or drink into the pit, so some preparation beforehand is certainly in order.

Fans will be packed into the pit like sardines. The general audience area is always significantly less crowded, and the front row of the general section always gets pretty good air time on TV.

If you really want your sign to be on TV, it may actually be best to try to head to the edges of the pit where the bleachers are set up, or even where the interview sets are set up, because the up-close shots make sign readability best.

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About the Author

Derek Bannister

Derek is a senior majoring in Economics and History. He is legally required to tell you that he's from right outside of Philly. Email Derek compliments and dad-jokes at [email protected]


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