AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A day of celebrations Saturday meant a day of cleanup Sunday at UMass Amherst.
Sunday morning, the only noise that could be heard through the UMass Amherst campus was the sound of loaders, trucks, shovels and brooms as cleanup crews said they were working overtime to sweep away the aftermath of Saturday’s homecoming game.
It was the first UMass Amherst homecoming football game held at McGuirk Stadium in Amherst in three years. The football team has been playing many of its games recently at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.
Saturday, UMass Amherst played Bowling Green State University, which is a college in Ohio.
Sunday morning, amidst the cleanup, 22News noticed a few guys emerge from an old bus, with lawn chairs and even mums placed outside it. Inside, was Basil Istwany, a UMass alumnus who now lives in Virginia. He’s traveled up to Massachusetts for the homecoming game for decades.
“My buddies, we worked here together while we were at school at UMass transit so that’s the bus connection. One of my buddies bought the bus, turned it into a motor home and we’ve been coming back for Homecoming probably 20-25 years now,” Istwany told 22News.
Istwany and other UMass alumni told said they had never seen so many fans in McGuirk Stadium before. They said it was because this was the first homecoming game held in Amherst in three years.
Due to all the celebrating, we asked UMass Amherst Spokesman Ed Blaguszewski if police reported anything getting out of control. He said there were no arrests and no serious injuries.
“No violence at all actually, but yeah, it was awesome. The police were fine, the students were fine, as far as I remember there weren’t any problems, I haven’t heard anything. It was well controlled and it was a lot of fun,” said Bill O’Brien, a UMass alumnus who traveled from Wakefield with his friends for tailgating and the game.
Unlike some college parties, Amherst residents said they were glad the Homecoming game was largely celebrated on school property.
“It’s not every weekend that they have the Blarney Blowout and Homecoming, so I would say there are more positives to living in a college town than negatives,” said Amherst resident Beth Jones.
Fans said there was one negative from the day, however: UMass lost to Bowling Green 47 to 42.