When fans enter the east side of Illinois' Memorial Stadium for the 2023 Fighting Illini Football season, they will notice facility improvements in the East Main Hall as well as added concessions features aimed at improving service and quality.
During the offseason, the East Main Hall received a makeover, which included a much-needed renovation of the restrooms with new toilets, sinks, and stalls. The East Main Hall also got a refresh of paint, flooring, and windows. Fans will also see new larger televisions throughout the concourse to allow fans at concessions to keep up with the action on the field. Additionally, a permanent water bottle filler has been installed for those patrons who bring in personal bottles.
On the concessions front, increasing the number of concessions locations around Memorial Stadium was paramount. Throughout the stadium, fans will see new Illini Markets designed to allow fans to shop and self-checkout for drinks, deli sandwiches, chips, fruit, and candy. Each of the four markets will have six checkout stations, increasing the stadium total to 24 new points of sale. Markets can be found in the East Main Hall, West Balcony and two in the Horseshoe.
"During the offseason, we took a deep dive into ways we could innovate and improve Memorial Stadium in meaningful ways," Director of Athletics Josh Whitman said. "We pushed to take advantage of usable space, tap into successful ventures at other large public-facing venues and think about the practical experience of our fans. What we hope we have accomplished is significantly better flow, upgrades in service and new features that will make our loyal fanbase feel valued."
The sidewalk outside the East Main Hall will also feature 3-4 food trucks per game, which will provide more options and variety for those on the east side of the stadium, as well as create more movement throughout the space and less congestion. Food trucks on board for 2023 are Watson's Shack & Rail, Sammy's Smoothie Bar, Maria's Kitchen (Asian fusion), and Canelo's Tacos.
Illinois has created two new concessions stands and eight new points of sale in the East Colonnades at the top of sections 103 and 107, to provide service for East Balcony patrons as well as those sitting towards the top of the East Main stands. These stands will have bottled soda and water, hot dogs, popcorn, and candy.
All concessions sales in Memorial Stadium are cashless.