The University of Oregon is a school that has made a name for itself over the last decade thanks to some very smart marketing and high profile partnerships. The Ducks even have a celebrity-style mascot with The Oregon Duck patrolling the sidelines. This character is based on Disney's Donald Duck through a special agreement, with the mascot wearing the Oregon green and yellow instead of Donald's traditional blue.
Gameday in Eugene is one of the best experiences out there for a college football fan, and it is, without a doubt, a highlight of college football in the Pacific Northwest. The Ducks play at Autzen Stadium, a stadium that is often ranked as one of the loudest in the nation despite the capacity of around 54,000 being half that of some schools in the South and Midwest. Even so, the Autzen Zoo (as the stadium is also known) is rocking when the Ducks are in town.
Oregon is always a gorgeous state to be in with its forests and scenery, so taking in a Ducks game in Eugene is the perfect complement to a wider vacation in the state. While football is the main sport in town, the Ducks are also often competitive in the Pac-12 in men's and women's basketball, while the Oregon track and field team is one of the most storied and historically significant in the entire country.
The average ticket price at Autzen Stadium often depends on how well the Ducks are doing and who they are playing. Prices are reasonable by major college football standards, with Oregon Ducks tickets in recent years averaging out at somewhere between $50 and $75.
Season tickets can even be had for something in the region of $400 in recent years. The most expensive games on the calendar, regardless of sport, is the clash with the Corvallis based Oregon State Beavers. This game is known as the Civil War, with it often living up to that name in the intensity of the action.
One thing to note on game day is that the Lane Transport District (LTD) buses are given priority in and around the stadium when it comes to the flow of traffic. This can cause some issues for drivers looking to get close to the stadium area. Have an idea of what you want to do when entering Eugene, but remember to be flexible and ready to follow the instruction of individuals directing traffic.
The parking lot at Autzen Stadium opens six hours before kickoff and parking in this area requires passes that only go to members of the Duck Athletic Fund. There are other areas around campus, such as the Eugene Science Center, that allow daytime RV parking and tailgating for other ticket holders if it is reserved in advance.
Duck Parking has RV spaces available on both a seasonal and single-game basis. Prices for areas that allow parking from Friday night until Sunday morning have been around $1,200 for the season and $240 for single games in recent seasons.
The best bets for public transport to the stadium from the city are Park & Ride lots and rideshare services. LTD bus service runs round trip game day shuttles for fans too and from the stadium for those that want to tailgate and then not walk to the facility. Shuttles usually run from three hours before kickoff and for 60 minutes after the game. The price for this service is often around $5 per person.
Overnight parking is not allowed in the game day parking lots around the stadium or general campus lots. Lots open six hours prior to the game, but hours may be less for early games.
RVers can park in certain lots from Friday until Sunday. Not all lots allow overnight RV parking, so be sure to mention this if you play to stay after the game. Ducks fans will have plenty of time to tailgate after arriving first thing in the morning.
University of Oregon fans will have several options close to the stadium to park an RV overnight and enjoy the tailgating for the full six hours on game day. One of these options is at the Eugene Masonic Lodge, a facility that offers RV spots and also gives back to the community through scholarship opportunities.
Albany / Corvallis KOA may be close to your route if you plan to travel along 1-5 about 45 minutes north of Eugene. For those wanting to park a little further out, look for campgrounds and RV Parks in the Willamette Valley area just beyond that region.
The Ducks community of Eugene is just 50 miles from the Pacific Coast, keeping you close by for the game while also allowing for many outdoor recreation opportunities.
The best way to get around when near the stadium is on foot or by bike. Bike shed space is offered near the Ducks Stadium so you can lock up your ride. A bike a great way to see more of the tailgate activities and get involved with more fans. Be sure to download the UOregon app, which comes with maps, safety resources, and campus self-guided walking tours to get the most out of your wandering in Eugene.
As Oregon has a long-standing relationship with Nike, it is fair to say that Ducks fans are some of the best dressed in the country when it comes to attending games in athletic clothing. The Duck Store online is a great place to pick up clothing, while there are branches of the same store on campus and at Autzen Stadium. Check out other clothing stores and retailers around the city for clothing options, with charity shops also worth a look if you find the popular colors picked over right before a game.
Gear choices are as varied as the clothing choices when it comes to the Oregon Ducks. This is a school that loves to show its pride, with the green and gold coloring as one of the most unique in college sports. Avoid black and burnt orange (Oregon State) like the plague, but go wild in buying gear to fit out the RV and the tailgate with Duck pride.
Have all the items in the RV that you will need for minor issues on your trip. This includes basics like painkillers, band-aid, and cold medicine. Also, make sure that as you tailgate, you drink plenty of water as it is easy to become dehydrated on game day, especially if you have spent some time hiking in the region in the days beforehand. Sunscreen is vital, as is lip balm, to fight any wind blowing away the moisture.
It is time to whip out the charcoal or propane grill and show your chops when it comes to grilling with some of the best on the West Coast. There is a flair to tailgating alongside the University of Oregon, with Ducks themed burgers, giant sandwiches, and fun desserts often spotted at events. Maybe make a green and yellow veggie tray as a side to your burgers and brats to really show the locals that you are a true Ducks fan. Chili is another great option for later season games when the weather turns cooler.
Eugene is a college town, and as such, there are chain, fancy, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants for every palate. If there is a type of food that you are craving, then you should be able to find it somewhere in Eugene. While eating cheap and easy (and familiar) is always a good option, why not ask some of the fans you are tailgating with what their favorite local restaurant in town is and give something new a try?
Football and food really do go together. After eating your fill at the tailgate, keep the fill going by grabbing a bite at Autzen Stadium. There are plenty of options available at the Ducks home, ranging from traditional burgers and hot dogs to veggie fare for fans who don't eat meat. Soda, beer, and wine sales within the stadium help wash down your choice of meal.
Give yourself plenty of time to get to the stadium on game day as there will be security lines at the gates working to process 60,000 people and get them into the facility. Oregon has adopted a clear bag policy, meaning that other than small clutch bags, the only permitted bags are clear plastic ones under 12"x 12"x 6" in size. It is also important to know that the policy on readmittance to the stadium has changed in recent years, with fans no longer being allowed to reenter the stadium during the game.
There are few better places in the country to watch college football than in the Willamette Valley region. This valley along the Williamette River includes a temperate climate. Ducks fans may not encounter debilitating heat often found in the South and or have problems of frostbite as in the North. Sunscreen will still be needed for those August and Septemeber games. Layers are important for October and November. However, the weather in Eugene is unlikely to throw up severe seasonal surprises.
Red Cross teams are located in the stadium bowl with medical rooms at the east and west ends of the main concourse at Autzen Stadium. These teams are trained to deal with minor and major medical emergencies, so if the worst happens, you will be in good hands immediately. There are also a number of hospitals and urgent care facilities within five miles of the stadium should you need them during a Ducks game.