The first spring football game in several years at Illinois will allow a limited number of fans.

University athletics administration announced Monday that an additional amount of tickets, after getting approval from the state of Illinois COVID-19 protocols.

The spring football game, which is set Monday, April 19 at 7 p.m. CST, will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network. The game will give Illini fans the first opportunity to watch the team assembled first-year head coach Bret Bielema and the 2021 Fighting Illini football squad, which returns 17 super seniors, the most in the Power 5 but is in the beginning stages of remaking the personnel and schemes on both sides of the ball.

Gates open one hour prior to the game at 6 p.m. CT.

In his latest Zoom media conference, Bielema confirmed the game format will not be manipulated much except for possible time constraints near the end. Bielema said the game will feature the projected first-team offense versus the first-team defense.

“The intention is to play a traditional Monday night football game to be honest and it’s our plan to have the offense best versus the defense best,” Bielema said. “What I’m trying to get to Friday or Saturday of this coming week and see where we are depth chart wise.”

The 2020-21 Illinois men's basketball team will also be honored in a ceremony at halftime and, following the open letter of Illinois athletics director Josh Whitman on his frustrations over the Big Ten Conference regular season championship policy, will feature the unveiling of the 2021 Big Ten Tournament championship banner.

For the first time in more than a year, the Illini marching band and cheerleaders will be in attendance inside Memorial Stadium to perform. The Marching Illini will be socially distanced in the East Main stands.

Fans will be located in the west main stands, west balcony and the horseshoe part of Memorial Stadiums. Suite holders will have access to their seats for the Orange and Blue spring game. Current suite holders will be sent a request form in the coming days. The Colonnades Club and 77 Club will not be utilized for fan attendance during the spring game. Students can claim tickets for the student section in the north end zone in pairs. Parking is available in the NW and SW lots at State Farm Center as well as E-14 on the southwest corner of First and Kirby. Due to COVID-19 protocols, tailgating will not be allowed.

Concessions stands will be open in the Great West Hall with special student concessions in the north end zone.

This article first appeared on FanNation Illini Now and was syndicated with permission.

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