By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will open at 3:30 p.m. Saturday for the 6 p.m. football game between the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University, but it won’t be to focus on cowbell confiscation.
“The gates at Vaught-Hemingway will open 30 minutes early, but that’s the fourth time we’ve done that this year,” said Danny Blanton, director of marketing and public relations at Ole Miss. “When we anticipate a big crowd, that gives people time to get through the gate and into their seats in time for the pregame activities.”
SEC rules allow Mississippi State fans to ring cowbells, a longtime MSU tradition, at home games during specified points in the game, but the bells are not allowed at other SEC stadiums.
Ole Miss athletics did send out an email today that said the following talking about cowbells – “Per the SEC’s Artificial Noisemaker Policy, cow bells are strictly prohibited in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Fans will be asked to return prohibited items to their cars before entering the stadium. In the event that cow bells are smuggled in, please report the section, row and seat number to the nearest UPD officer or usher. You can also send a text to 69050 with the message: “Rebs cowbell [insert section and row]”.
“There will be searches, but there are always searches. They won’t be looking specifically for cowbells,” Blanton said. “Frankly, most of the search is aimed at alcohol. We want to give people the best game experience.”
Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Grove and other tailgating areas on the Ole Miss campus will open at noon Friday – nine hours earlier than usual – for setup.