The Sam Houston State Bearkats kickoff their 2011 football season Thursday, Sept. 1, with a 6 p.m. game with nationally-ranked Western Illinois at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium.

That day, prior to the game, the entire Bowers Stadium parking lot will be closed. At 2:30 p.m. the lot will be opened only to vehicles with official football game parking credentials.

To help students who normally park in the Bowers lot, the University Police Department has two options for students with orange parking permits.

Students may park in any BLUE or GREEN lot this day only (Thursday, Sept. 1) and will not receive a citation.

Students may park in a special satellite parking lot and ride special shuttle vans Thursday running from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. from the satellite lot.

The satellite lot is located at the corner of IH-45 north feeder road and Lake Road. The lot is commonly known as the old Hillcrest Ford Dealership. The shuttle will drop and pick students up at the dead end next to the CHSS building only.  

All current Sam Houston students are admitted free to Sam Houston home football games at Bowers Stadium. Students may pick up their tickets in advance at the Lowman Student Center using their active Bearkat One card. Pickup times are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Sam Houston faculty and staff also are admitted free to the general admission seats with their active Bearkat One card.

Pregame activities Thursday at Bowers Stadium will begin with the "Bearkat Alley Tailgate" north of the stadium scoreboard. Members of the Houston Texans Cheerleaders will be signing autographs and posing for photos with fans at tailgate Sept. 1.

At 5 p.m., the Sam Houston Marching Band will make begin its traditional "March to Bowers" from the library to Bearkat Alley.