Green and yellow filled the seats of the Red Lion Hotel in Eugene this evening. People from all over the community came proudly, sporting their finest duck gear to cheer for Oregon at the BCS championship game.
Businesses throughout Eugene spent days preparing for game night crowds and celebrations. The Red Lion Hotel prepared a taco bar, drink specials, and a viewing room for those in the Cal Young neighborhood wanting to get together and show their Oregon pride. People began to arrive for the pre-game coverage, and stayed to enjoy dinner, drinks, and friendly conversation until the game began at 5:30 pm.
“We are really excited to get out and be a part of the community,” Deborah Garlin exclaimed, enjoying drinks and appetizers with her family. Garlin carried an enthusiastic energy, similar to that which coursed through all the Duck fans in the room this evening. Garlin moved to Eugene just last August and was already showing full support for the team. “I became a Duck fan in 5 months!” she stated excitedly.
Garlin was one of many Duck fans who were excited to get out and be a part of the community on game night. The Red Lion Hotel was prepared with extra hotel staff, servers, and bartenders to host the event. Use of billboards, newspaper adds, and local advertisements drew in people from all over the Cal Young area and many surrounding neighborhoods in Eugene. Though the dining hall was limited to adults 21 and older, people of all ages came together to watch the game.
The Red Lion Hotel on Coburg road hosts regular watch parties for all Oregon games. Eddie Franklin, front desk supervisor of the hotel claimed, ”Though not nearly as busy as home games, we always have a great turnout for these events.” This evening was no different for the hotel, which was packed full of hardcore Duck fans. As the start of the game grew near the cheers and laughter echoed loudly through the dining hall, and both excitement and nerves carried the fans’ hopes for a National Championship title.
The crowds’ predictions of tonight’s game were second to their team pride and spirit. University of Oregon graduate students Eli Meyer and Brook Edwards were among many in the room discussing the possible outcomes. “It’s going to be an uphill battle for the Ducks” Meyer predicted. Edwards quickly voiced her defense, stating “We definitely have the spirit so I think we can do it!”
Both Edwards and Meyer, like many other Duck fans at the Red Lion Hotel, came out this evening to show their support and be a part of the community regardless of the outcome. Meyer explained “We’re not big sports people but we definitely enjoy being part of the energy.” The infamous Eugene energy that carried the ducks through a perfect season this year roared in the background as the hall lights dimmed and the remaining people rushed to their seats to watch the start of the game in good spirits.