Excited fans pack Bulldog Stadium for return of Fresno State football

The excitement in the air, the music, games, and drinks, and the smell of grilled hot dogs are finally back.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Local college football fans wasted no time getting back to the stands.

Thousands were packed inside Fresno State's Bulldog Stadium on Saturday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The excitement in the air; the music, games, and drinks; the smell of grilled hot dogs.

These were all things that were missing last year and have returned to the Fresno State Tailgate Field.

Right before the game, Action News caught up with Fresno State's wide receiver Jalen Cropper's mom.

"He said, 'I'm going to show you what I've been practicing for, what the offseason is about', so we're super excited!... My heart is racing, I'm nervous. I have butterflies," Lisette Moreno said.

For the first time in Bulldog Stadium history, the game kicked off in the morning due to the bad air quality.

For Leslie Rau and her family, this is a tradition.

"We have a tailgate every time, this has been a family spot for years ...I don't think my husband slept for several days, preparing," Rau said.

Fans described being back in the stadium as 'surreal' and are happy to be supporting their teams in-person again.

If you're planning on attending a game at the Bulldog Stadium in the future, the athletics department says they are following the state's guidance.

Right now, that means unvaccinated people are required to wear masks, but they're encouraging everyone to wear masks regardless of whether or not you've been vaccinated.

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