Oh, my beloved Autzen. How harmless you look in the bright light of day, in a moment when the sun is actually shining in Oregon.
Some of my absolute favorite memories were made in this stadium, but it took me quite some time to figure out how to make myself comfortable and happy through the entirety of games. Don't get me wrong- I have never left a game more than twenty seconds early and never, ever will- but it is nice to not have chattering teeth or a dry throat after screaming your lungs out.
Before starting this, you should know that I'm morally obligated to say "It never rains in Autzen Stadium!" every time I start to mention it raining... in Autzen stadium- "It never rains in Autzen Stadium!" See? It's a Don Essig thing. Go to a game and it experience it yourself, I beg of you.
First, let's cover dress code. This is a bit female-specific, but guys, you can get the gist. Most of our games are night games it seems, so this is for a chilly evening. I cannot emphasize this enough: layers. Say it with me: laaaayeeeerrrrssss. You'll get warm walking there (I assume you're not parking at Autzen because that would just be insane) and you'll be a popsicle by the end of the night. Here is a picture of myself at popsicle stage at the last game I went to:
Scarves can totally be face warmers. Okay let's start with the first layer. Well, not the very first layer... You know what I mean. I usually go for thick tights or leggings and a thick long sleeve t-shirt.
For the second layer, I throw a t-shirt over the long sleeve shirt and some jeans on. If it's a really, really cold night, like unbearably cold, I'll wear thick sweats over my jeans for a third layer. That's usually not necessary, though.
Last, but oh most certainly not least, on goes a sweatshirt, hat/headband, and gloves. And if it's going to be a wet night- I mean... "It never rains in Autzen Stadium!"- of course my handy dandy rain coat comes along.
Now the ever important bag. Don't bring your purse! A purse will too easily fall off (or be taken off) your shoulder and is an overall hassle. You can't set it down under the bleachers because you end up moving so much throughout the game (it's inevitable- believe me). I recommend a draw string backpack. They're hardly noticeable on your back, it won't fall off, and people can't get into it without you noticing because the strings will pull on your shoulders when it's opened. Here's what I mean:
Here's what you're going to take with you. You don't need more, you don't need less- you need exactly this.
1. A sealed water bottle. Yes, I know that buying plastic water bottles in Eugene is practically a crime. But, if you try to bring your refillable water bottle into Autzen they will make you throw it out before entering the stadium. That's right. For all security knows, your water bottle could be a jerry-rigged bomb. Or something. If you bring a sealed, clear water bottle, filled with clear liquid (that means no soda, juice, etc.) you're good to go. I always get thirsty from screaming my brains out, so this is important for me.
Repeat after me. Sealed.
2. Keys. Do I need to explain this one? Please don't forget your keys. If you do, it'll be a long night.
3. Chapstick. I'm a bit of a chapstick addict, so this comes with me everywhere. Even if you aren't, it gets really cold for night games at Autzen and it's nice to have on hand.
4. Your phone. You will definitely not get service in Autzen, so use it to find your friends before entering the stadium. It's also nice to have for pitcha-takin'.
5. Little Hotties. These are only important if it's a night game. Again, night games get really, really, really cold and sometimes very wet- "It never rains in Autzen stadium!"- and Hotties have saved me more than once.
6. A poncho. "It never rains in Autzen stadium!" But... bring one just in case. A rain jacket can only handle so much water, and since you'll be standing out in the... moisture- "It never rains in Autzen stadium!"- for several hours, it'll help you not get soaked to the bone.
7. Your wallet. Again, I don't need to explain this right? You need your student ID to get into the game if you're a student, your ID to prove you're of drinking age before/after the game, and your debit card/cash to buy said drinks.
8. Gloves. It's cold out. I've said that, right?
So now that you're dressed and well prepared, let's make sure your bellies are happy, too. I like putting something in the crock pot before I leave so that I come home, quite tired and hungry, to something hot and ready to go. You could just stop by somewhere on your way back to campus/home, or you could have amazing sloppy joes waiting for you at home. Where dry clothes and a bed await.
I hope this guide has helped you, and please oh please enjoy your Autzen experience!