Texas Christian University kicked off its football season Saturday with a home opener against Louisiana-Monroe. It was the first chance for people to see Amon Carter Stadium up close during a massive, multi-million-dollar renovation project.
The smell of fresh barbecue on the grill got TCU fans going on game day. Students, alumni and other fans brought elaborate purple-themed setups and some not-so-fancy ones.
"We're going to be here all day. You can't start too early. You got to get a little rest, have some breakfast and then get going," said Bill Johnston, a TCU dad.
In the hours before kickoff, tailgaters pitched tents, amused themselves with games of redneck golf and ring toss, and carried coolers across the parking lot to stay hydrated while they cheered on their Horned Frogs.
"We look forward to this every year. Excitement level is very high," said Sara Schneider, TCU class of 2009.
This year the fan experience will include many more portable toilets and limited concession choices because the restrooms and concession stands were taken out for construction.
"Growing pains, as the university grows and becomes a bigger university and a nationally recognized university stadium, these growing pains go along with it. No big deal this year," said Dillon Farish, class of 2007. "We're very excited about this year, coming off the exciting year last year."
Fans don't seem to mind the minor inconveniences. As long as they can get through this year, they can kick off next year with a new stadium.