Cheney Free Press -


Staff Reporter 

Tailgating also starts here, Saturday

Cheney Merchant’s Association to stage downtown promotion in conjunction with EWU football opener


Eastern Washington University has gotten some notable visibility with their “Football Starts Here,” campaign that centers around the season’s first football game Saturday at Roos Field versus Sam Houston State University and its broadcast across the nation on ESPN. The Cheney Merchant’s Association hatched an idea of its own with an event prior to the EWU-SHSU contest called “Tailgating Starts Here.”

First Street will be renamed Eagle Avenue, closed to traffic but open for business prior to the 12:30 p.m. kickoff. The event will focus on food and drink, Cheney City Councilman and association president Doug Nixon said.

Things get going at 8 a.m., Nixon said, and he encourages Cheney residents to stop by and take part because ESPN cameras could be there, too.

“We’re trying to show off our city,” Nixon said. “We need a couple hundred people there.”

The pre-game event will also try to increase public awareness of the CMA, an organization that promotes business for the city.

Nixon expects the downtown restaurants and bars like The Mason Jar, Zentropa, Eagles Pub, along with Goofy’s and Bill’s Long Bar to take advantage of the opportunity.

There will be food and drink specials, Nixon said. Special banners will hang on the light poles for the day, and hopefully throughout the football season.

While currently just a one-time event, Nixon would like to see this be a regular activity on EWU game days.

ESPN personality, and EWU alum, Colin Cowherd, is expected to be in attendance which ought to be an additional draw, Nixon said.

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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