MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — One of the most highly anticipated football games of the 2022-23 college football season is returning to Ladd-Peebles Stadium for the fifth year.

This week, Alabama A&M and Jackson State fans are taking over Mobile, not only for the game but also for the other activities the Gulf Coast Challenge has to offer before Saturday’s kickoff.

The Gulf Coast Challenge is expected to draw the largest crowd Ladd-Peebles Stadium has ever seen Saturday, according to stadium officials. The fun doesn’t stop there.

To get people interested in the Gulf Coast Challenge before the Historically Black Universities take the field, a number of events will take place beginning on Wednesday.

Some of those events include a College & Career Fair, a business networking reception, a number of concerts with special guest and a parade before the game. 

CJ Drinkard, Ladd-Peebles stadium manager, said by hosting these events, spectators can build anticipation for this weekend’s big game.

“What you have to do is kind of build up the suspense but also give people things to do,” said Drinkard. “What a lot of people don’t realize is before big games it’s just a dead week, so when you have these events leading up to the game, it just makes it more exciting for that Saturday.”

Drinkard said in addition to hosting events, Ladd-Peebles is working hard to revamp some areas of the stadium to make sure it’s up to par for the big game.

“We’re repainting the lights, pressure washing the seats, making sure the field is what it needs to be, ordering field paint for the logos, making sure the team rooms are ready for the teams, decorating the lobby and painting the lobby,” said Drinkard. “Anything you can think of as far as renovating, we’ve done it.”

Click here for a link to the complete schedule of events and information on how to purchase tickets for the Gulf Coast Challenge.