Tailgating Bobcat fans will have new rules to abide by beginning Sept. 7 for the first home football game of the season against Prairie View A&M.
According to the athletic department’s website, tailgating spaces will be claimed on a first come, first serve basis. Each space will cost $10, and groups can purchase as many spaces as needed. Tailgating will be located in the Strahan Coliseum parking lot, but single space tailgating is allowed for free in all open lots other than Bobcat Alley. Tailgating at Strahan will be open from 8 a.m. to kick-off, according to the website. Vanessa Cortez, Associated Student Government president, said she sits on the tailgate committee along with representatives from the University Police Department, Parking Services and athletics.
Cortez said reservations were a hassle for students, and there are more spots available in the parking lot this year. Cortez said she wanted to make it as easy as possible under the new rules.
“It’s going to be very hands-off,” Cortez said.
Tailgate set-ups must be in designated spaces and driving lanes must be kept clear, according to the rules. Tailgating will be suspended 20 minutes prior to kick-off, and only two people can remain at the tailgate site until after the fourth quarter has ended.
Cortez said the break in tailgating will give students time to pack up their set-ups and join a new tradition ASG is attempting to start. She said the marching band, Strutters, cheerleaders and Boko will lead a march into the stadium through the tailgating area. Cortez said once the band is in earshot, students should take their tent down and join the procession into the stadium.
“Hopefully people will want to continue the fun (in the game),” Cortez said.
For groups tailgating with alcohol, food and non-alcoholic beverages must be present and more prominent than the alcohol, according to the rules. No glass containers, kegs, hard liquor or any kind of group container will be allowed. Alcohol is not allowed at the tailgate after kickoff or during the game.
“Inappropriate behavior” can cause a permanent ban from tailgate, the rules said.
Sales or “commercial activities” including advertising, donations, distributing literature or promotional materials, mobile-marketing, social media and taking of orders are prohibited during tailgate unless permission is given by the university, according to the rules. Vendors can get special spaces through the athletics department.
Grills cannot be left unattended or put on any green space if they are on a trailer, the rules said. Designated coal containers will be provided and coals must be doused and put into the containers.
If trash and recyclables are not thrown away in receptacles throughout the lot, the groups leaving trash will be banned from tailgating for the remainder of the season, the rules said.
According to the athletic website, power will not be available at tailgate, and fans are encouraged to bring generators.
Cortez said ASG will be sponsoring a special freshmen tailgate for three games, including the first home game Sept. 7, the homecoming game and parents’ night. Freshmen may not have joined a group or know what to do at tailgate, which creates the need for this space, Cortez said. She said the tailgate will include videogames on a truck and prize giveaways.
“You have to instill pride in freshmen so they come back (to games) year after year,” Cortez said.