EUGENE, Ore. -- Thousands of fans packed into parking lots outside Autzen Stadium Saturday morning for tailgates before the Ducks football season opener.
Fans said poor air quality conditions did not dampen the mood, and said they were excited to be back.
"They are kind of like the best in the whole country. They are one of my favorite teams, and they are going to win this game," one young fan said.
It's the first time fans have been able to tailgate outside Autzen Stadium ahead of a Ducks football game since November 2019.
"The fans are just so loving," Zach Deande said.
Another fan, Jason Duran added.
"They're all cool. They're all amazing. There's nothing that you can't love about it," Duran said.
After more than 600 days without a tailgate, fans said this one had it all.
"The camaraderie, the drinking, the games," Michael McLaughlin said. "The food is excellent by the way, this gentleman definitely prepares a great tailgate."
But there were some differences compared to the tailgates two years ago.
Everyone entering the stadium was required to show proof of vaccination or provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the game's start time.
Masks were also required inside the stadium at all times when people were not eating or drinking.
"I think the new thing they're doing here too with the having to be vaccinated or test you know, makes you feel a little bit more comfortable," Russ Knoebel said.