Added shuttle time could lead to bigger Topperwalk crowd

Hannah Bushon

More students might participate in a pre-football game ritual now that the game day shuttle has added an extra hour to its route.

During Topperwalk, the cheerleaders, Topperettes, football players and Head Coach Willie Taggart walk from the student tailgating area, near the top of the Hill, down Avenue of Champions to Houchens-Smith Stadium about 3 hours before kickoff.

Shuttles were previously available about 2 hours before the game to take tailgaters to the stadium, said Lindsay Thomas, coordinator of marketing and promotions for Athletics. The shuttles also run after the game to take students back to their tailgating spots.

But now, the shuttles will run earlier, and will take students who want to participate in Topperwalk back to their tailgating spots when the walk is over, Thomas said.

Thomas said getting students into the game was a priority for the department.

“We want them in the game – whatever will get them into the games,” she said.

Thomas anticipates a boost in attendance for Topperwalk with the recent addition of an extra hour of shuttles.

Thomas said a group of students was consulted, and suggested a post-Topperwalk shuttle to encourage fans to participate.

Colton Jessie, Student Government Association president, described the shuttle system as “really helpful” and said the shuttle during the second home game was decently full.