Athletics Department, Mizzou Alumni Association brace for Homecoming

Together, the Athletics Department and MAA have worked to prepare the centennial celebration one to remember for alumni, fans and students.

This Saturday marks 100 years of football, rich tradition and togetherness. More significantly, it means coming home.

The Mizzou Alumni Association has been working hard to make the centennial Homecoming celebration one to remember.

“Homecoming is always a crazy atmosphere,” Executive Director of MAA Todd McCubbin said. “There’s a lot of affinity for Mizzou and Homecoming. People love to come back. It’s always a special time. I would say the centennial has taken that up a couple notches. People have talked about for a long time, and there’s a big build-up for this weekend, and we’re ready for it.”

Although the production is generally put on by MAA, the athletics department plays a major role in making sure the football game and events surrounding the game run smoothly.

“Homecoming is run by the Alumni Association, and we partner with them every year,” said Emily Janssen, Director of Marketing for the athletics department. “Obviously, the Homecoming football game is a part of that, and we work together to determine the best home game for that.”

From a game standpoint, Janssen said that the production is very similar to last year’s Homecoming game in which MU upset Oklahoma, but that the centennial celebration was a ticket-booster for this year's installment.

“We’re expecting a great crowd,” Janssen said. “It’s the 100th anniversary of Homecoming, and that’s helped us sell a lot of tickets. Compared to last year's Homecoming against Oklahoma and everything that went along with that, they’re very comparable."

As far as differences for the centennial, McCubbin noted new events and opportunities provided by MAA, including the Romp, Chomp and Stomp Homecoming tailgating event that will take place in the Mel Carnahan Quadrangle directly after the Homecoming parade Saturday morning.

“The name came from an event that happened in the '40s and '50s right here on campus,“ McCubbin said. “We think it’s cool to bring that back and have a live band, food, drinks and all of that. We’re going to have close to 3,000 people attending that, so that will be a nice, big event and a great way to celebrate Homecoming.”

McCubbin also noted that several alumni return for the Homecoming tradition and are interested in touring the campus. The number of tour guides available is limited, though, because this is a prime time for prospective students to visit campus as well.

To solve this problem, MAA partnered with several other departments to create an audio tour that is free of cost and features special Homecoming landmarks and traditions.

The most evident change in this year’s Homecoming compared to previous Homecomings is the atmosphere that the centennial brings.

“While campus gets excited for Homecoming every year, this year that excitement seems to be amplified even more,” MAA Coordinator of Student Programs for MAA Caroline Bien said in an email. “Many campus departments and entities have worked to promote and celebrate Homecoming in different ways.”

The new level of energy is something that the athletic department is bracing for.

“As far as the atmosphere, it goes hand-in-hand with having a large crowd there, and we’re expecting to have a huge crowd on Saturday,” Janssen said.

Even the football team is feeding off of the new level of energy.

“I’m sure the intensity and emotions of the crowd will really do a good job of helping us,” senior safety and captain Kenji Jackson said. “I know it helps me play when the crowd is really into it. It’s fun to play in those types of atmospheres. It can be a spark for us and help us to victory.”

The Tigers will hit the gridiron against Iowa State at 1 p.m. Saturday at Faurot Field.

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