Eugene, Oregon is a college town. While there’s more to do in Eugene than go to college, it’s pretty safe to say that the city’s identity is tied to the University of Oregon. I graduated from Oregon last year, so I’ll try to be as unbiased as I possibly can.
Eugene is in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s going to rain. If you go to a game in November in Washington or Oregon, it’ll probably rain (although Oregon fans swear that it never rains in Autzen, the Ducks’ stadium). I’ve been to enough games there to know that it does in fact rain at Autzen (surprisingly enough, though, not during Saturday’s Husky-Duck affair).
I would say Autzen’s gameday environment is as energetic as any school’s I’ve been to so far, but the difference seems to be that there’s more of a community feel to the tailgating and pre-game activity, mostly because Eugene isn’t as big as most of the other places I’ve been to, so the whole town sort of comes together for Duck games. This isn’t to knock any other schools, there’s just way more to do on Saturdays in LA, Phoenix, or the Bay Area.
Oregon people are good people. I got offered entirely too much food and alcohol (not saying I didn’t take advantage of some offers) and people seemed to be genuinely happy to be outside in the Autzen parking lot at 9 AM on a cold, overcast Saturday morning that called for a lot of rain.
The only two real knocks on going to a game at Oregon is that it’ll probably be cold and wet, and that there isn’t a ton to do before and after the game within the city itself.
Oh yeah, and Autzen is louder than you probably know. This isn’t a bad thing, but the place is hell if you’re another team or aren’t used to a crowd that doesn’t let up. Enjoy the episode.
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