University to host virtual homecoming

Julia Barton ® Staff Writer |

Most years, Minnesota State University, Mankato’s homecoming event is a festive celebration that packs nearly 7,000 people into Blakeslee Stadium.

But this year, like everything else, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed homecoming into the virtual environment.

With revenue down because of COVID-19, MNSU Athletics is offering several virtual ticket options for homecoming, ranging in price from $10-$100. Some will include added perks.

Some ticket packages include the Sideline Pass ($100) which includes an opportunity for a virtual “Tailgate” with head coach Todd Hoffner and other Maverick student-athletes. Buyers are eligible to enter a drawing for a tailgate spot in Lot 7 for the 2021 season and receive a commemorative game ticket. 

“Homecoming is the cornerstone of the football season,” said Scott Nelsen, director of marketing and community engagement for MNSU athletics. “So we are trying to engage students and fans as much as we can during COVID-19 and raise money for Maverick athletics.”

Other ticket packages perks include being able to enter a drawing to receive one of five $100 gift certificates to the official MNSU Sideline Store. Also scheduled is a Virtual Garage Sale from Sept. 15-Oct. 3. This store is open to the public and fans that are able to bid on Maverick gear.

“It is hard working out with the masks on,” said Luke Werike, a freshman on MNSU’s football team. “And it is so weird not having normal fans.”

 Since MNSU students using their MavCard get free admission to most sporting events, Maverick athletics will be honoring their students at the River Hills Mall this Friday. There, you can expect a Maverick Athletic representative promoting and fundraising this year’s sports from 11 a.m-1 p.m. 

“I’m sad that there’s no traditional homecoming game this year,” MNSU sophomore Emma Welter said. “I feel bad the freshmen now are going to miss out on all the activities. With COVID-19, I can tell there’s a huge lack of school spirit compared to last year as it’s harder for students to get together and support the school.” 

Although Maverick Athletics and homecoming will look drastically different during this year, virtual homecoming and free events are planned throughout the month of October to keep the Maverick spirit alive. The virtual tickets can be purchased at

Header photo: Hip-hop artist KYLE performs during the 2019 homecoming concert at the Myers Field House Oct. 4, 2019 in Mankato, Minn. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University will not be having a homecoming concert. (File photo)

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