Homecoming tailgate attendance severely decreases
Though the stands for the Homecoming football game Saturday were full, the student tailgate lot was nearly empty.
Campus life prohibited alcohol at this year’s tailgate except for three 16-ounce beers that were sold by the University, which resulted in decreased attendance compared to previous years, according to Teri Hall, associate vice president of campus life.
Though Hall could not provide how many students attended the tailgate, the Department of Event Conference Services calculated how many students supplied identification for wristbands, which allowed them to purchase beer.
Jim McTygue, director of event and conference services, said that 70 students were given wristbands this year, compared to 1,859 students in 2011 and 1,500 in 2010.
“The workers that I had there [the homecoming tailgate] came back to me and said that none of the students coming in from the tailgate were intoxicated, and that was a positive sign for the administration,” he said.
Sophomore Theresa Smith said last year’s homecoming tailgate was fun, but didn’t go to this year’s because of the new policy.
“There was really no point to go,” she said.
Some students, like freshman Christian Wallace, thought the tailgate was a success, despite the low turnout.
“It was fun. People seemed like they were having a good time,” he said. “There was a lot of togetherness and a lot of good food.”
Hall said that the tailgate is just a precursor to get students excited for the game.
“I don’t care that they come to Lot 14, I care that they go to the game,” she said.
Although students complained about the new tailgating policy, Hall said that the tailgate was successful from the perspective of the University because there were no injuries or citations.
“We want to make sure that whatever happens on university property is in line with university policy and that’s what happened Saturday,” she said.
For the future, Hall said she hopes the University doesn’t have to continue this policy.
“The tailgating rules that apply to every other game should apply to the homecoming game,” she said.
Director of Student Activities Dirron Allen said that the tailgate was not as successful as he would have liked.
“Tailgate is always a work in progress,” he said. “We’re going to take the feedback we received this year and work on it.”
Allen could not provide cost estimates for food, but for extra amenities, including a live band, the University spent over $4,000.
-Jeremy Bauer-Wolf and Jonathan Munshaw contributed to this article