It’s almost time for UGA fans to start tailgating … but where?

North Campus tailgating last year. (Photo by Bill King)

North Campus tailgating last year. (Photo by Bill King)

The Dogs scrimmaged Tuesday, my season tickets arrived, I sent off the check to reserve our spot at the church where we park and I made my reservation for the kickoff meeting of the Touchdown Club of Athens.

It’s starting to really feel like football season!

Aside from the annual shopping spree at the UGA Bookstore with my daughter next week, that pretty much takes care of my preseason preparations. But if you’re one of the folks who do tailgating in a major way (we don’t), you’ve got some issues to resolve thanks to the new restrictions, especially if you used to tailgate on the historic North Campus quads and Herty Field.

As you’ll recall, the university got fed up with the trashing of North Campus the past couple of seasons and decided to clamp down on tailgating there by issuing new rules that essentially allow nothing but low-key picnics in the area. Among the items no longer allowed are all the ingredients of first-class tailgating: tents, kegs, generators, televisions, amplified music, grills or cookers of any type, tables larger than 4 feet long and any furniture other than folding chairs. And you can’t set up more than four hours before game time.

For the purposes of these game day restrictions, North Campus is defined as the area bounded by Broad Street, Lumpkin Street, Baldwin Street and Jackson Street (including, but not limited to, the quadrangle between Broad Street and Old College, the quadrangle between Old College and the Main Library, and Herty Field).

Where will the folks who want to do more than spread a tablecloth on the ground go for their tailgating? I asked my nephew Al Skelton, whose tailgate party I wrote about last season. Al used to set up his tent near the UGA Chapel (and took his tailgating so seriously that he rarely bothered to actually go into the game, preferring to watch on one of the many big-screen TVs around him).

“That’s a good question,” Al said, “and I don’t think we’ve made a final decision yet. It’s disappointing that the spot we’ve been at for the last five years isn’t available anymore. It’s pretty much the only place I’ve tailgated. I think we’re torn pretty evenly between finding somewhere else on campus (although I don’t even know what the options are) or just tailgating in backyards here in Atlanta.”

What are the options? Well, they’re fairly limited. One of the reasons North Campus had become game day central was because the school banned sidewalk parking and built new buldings on some of the prime real estate where folks used to gather before a game. The fact that students are now into tailgating, formerly a pastime of alums, has added to the crunch.

But there are still places to tailgate in the old style. Once you get off North Campus, the Myers quadrangle has always had tailgating, sometimes getting pretty crowded, and that space will now be much more in demand. When my son lived in Reed Hall I was always surprised there wasn’t much tailgating in the quad there, and since that’s outside the North Campus restricted area, I’d expect that location will see more people setting up. The area along Lumpkin Street no doubt will be even more in demand than in the past. And East Campus already had a fair amount of tailgating and there’s probably room for more people there. It’s a bit out of the way and lacks the scenery of North Campus, but it’s not that bad a walk to the stadium.

It was obvious something needed to be done about tailgaters treating the university’s most historic area like a dump, and the crowding there last year had just about reached the gridlock level, but the case can be made that the UGA administration went too far in basically eliminating full-fledged tailgating on North Campus.

In fact, Athens resident Bruce Hendley did a pretty good job of laying out that case in an opinion piece in last Sunday’s Athens Banner-Herald, pointing out that moving the tailgating off North Campus won’t eliminate the littering problem and might just disperse the trash to other areas of campus. The shifting of folks off North Campus will probably hurt business in downtown Athens, he notes. And, he asks, why were tents and TVs banned from North Campus? How do they harm the area since they’re not left behind?

Said Hendley: “Here are things we know about tailgating: It’s only six days a year, and people come to Athens and spend money for the entire weekends surrounding those six days. The economy really needs those people right now. Why make it easier for alumni and fans to keep their tailgating and their money at home?”

He suggested allowing tailgating on North Campus and putting more police there to issue citations for littering.

My own take on all this: The new rules are probably an interim measure to clear the entrenched tailgaters out of North Campus. Eventually, tailgating will return to the area, but most likely on a paid basis, where you rent a space that’s already set up for you. Whatever company is hired to run the tailgating will ensure that no garbage is left behind, and UGA will make some money off the whole deal.

Sure, some of the charm of fan-run tailgating will be lost with a pay-to-play system. But the black eye that the garbage strewn everywhere after games was giving the university was anything but charming.

I’d love to hear from tailgaters about their plans for the coming season and your thoughts on the future of tailgating at UGA.

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139 comments Add your comment

Budweiser Bob

August 11th, 2010
11:06 am

Bill

Its too hot to tailgate

Have you asked yet about my metal license plate to replace the cardboard crap they sent me for all the donation money I sent

Budweiser Bob

August 11th, 2010
11:06 am

oh yea first

Budweiser Bob

August 11th, 2010
11:07 am

How about an article on the importance of beating FL Bill please

Especially on a weekly basis to jar the minds of the coaching staff

Budweiser Bob

August 11th, 2010
11:10 am

Bill

Me again, ask the new AD when he is hired, if they will send us a t-shirt, metal license plate, something at least thats better than a cardboard tag

I mean if I have to continue to pay to watch beat downs year after year by FL, I think I deserve something for my misery

Kevin Sweat

August 11th, 2010
11:11 am

I love tailgating and I hate Michael Adams! He screws up everything good at UGA, and for what? It certainly isn’t changing any national perceptions. We’ve got a good thing going and it’s time people started appreciating it.

Go Dawgs!

Budweiser Bob

August 11th, 2010
11:12 am

Bill

Im back

Any word yet, about replacing the cardboard license plates you recieve for your purchase of season tickets

Are you going to write about the importance of beating FL yet Bill

GeoffDawg

August 11th, 2010
11:12 am

When was tailgating pretty much just an alum thing? When I was a student in the mid-nineties, we would always either tailgate or have some kind of function at the fraternity house. Generally speaking, our tailgating only consisted of Jim Beam and Coke and maybe Fried Chicken or Hamburgers if we were lucky but I remember it always being packed with students.

Paul H

August 11th, 2010
11:20 am

Geoffdawg, the majority of tailgaters are alumni or non-students. Think about it. When you graduate, you’ll join the masses.

Paul H

August 11th, 2010
11:22 am

It’s a shame that the sins of a few have cost the rest of us. And I agree that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. It makes no sense to ban tvs, etc. Plus the trash is just going to end up elsewhere, maybe even in greater amounts since there will be more people every where else.

Tech Wrek

August 11th, 2010
11:30 am

If only pups fans could rub their two brain cells together long enough to figure out how to use a trash can. problems would be solved

Budweiser Bob

August 11th, 2010
11:34 am

Tech Wrek

We dont need to throw our trash away, we just leave it for the best Janitorial Engineers in the state to clean it up, and that would be the hired Tech Grads

GaDawg

August 11th, 2010
11:34 am

your right Tech Wrek, we could always use the Land fill on the Flats, not many spectators to pick up after there

bo

August 11th, 2010
11:43 am

Hendley’s column is a whiny rant without any logic. businesses downtown will not suffer, actually I bet they do better—they are mostly bars afterall.

Scott W.

August 11th, 2010
11:45 am

Business downtown will suffer when alum from other places stay home to watch the game instead of coming to Athens.

TallyDawg

August 11th, 2010
11:45 am

I always see a lot of folks further down Broad Street in the vicinity of Red Rooster’s. Pretty cool place to tailgate, but man that walk back up the hill sucks.

Bright Idea

August 11th, 2010
11:49 am

This all comes with tailgating becoming bigger than the football game. Let folks like Bill King’s nephew stay at home in Atlanta and much of this problem will be solved.

Bobby

August 11th, 2010
11:55 am

Bill,

We are tailgating for the first time at a church this year. The Presb. church, what church are you at? We have tried different spots the past couple of years and hope we like this spot!

Willy

August 11th, 2010
11:58 am

UGA fans could tailgate in a dumpster.

How2fish

August 11th, 2010
11:59 am

I really doubt that most of the damage was done by the big time tailgaters the ones that bring grills, TV’s tents etc they tend to remember the garbage bags and use themI’d think the last minute lets grab some KFC and a keg bunch would be more apt to leave the trash behind just my 2 cents.

Classic City

August 11th, 2010
12:00 pm

. ————————– .
. Nesbitt for Heisman .
. ————————– .

CoastDog

August 11th, 2010
12:00 pm

Adams and company want a few rich fans instead of a lot of average fans don’t you see? The cardboard tag is called a clue.

Paul Johnson's Mammography Tech.

August 11th, 2010
12:02 pm

I dont even get why someone would want to tailgate at the cesspool of the south with all those cootie-infested yucky girls all over the place. Even though I get free hot dogs and cokes in the stadium with my 3-ticket package I tailgate at The Varsity so I can build up my energy reserves beforehand so I can run away from scary homeless people or in case a student bomb threat is called in on the way to the awesome stadium. Tech Rules, thUGA drools!!

Webster

August 11th, 2010
12:02 pm

Man oh man, how hard is it to just throw your trash in a trash can, hmm, well just ask a ugag doggie fan, they can tell you! Basically shows you how trashy have the crowd is with their campers, tents, and wait a minute, what are they buying there in Athens that helps the economic situation for the town? They all bring their own booze, food, tents etc. Hmm, ok, that makes alot of sense, they aint spending crap in Athens just taking up space with there fat, redneck behinds and big ugly gas guzzling trucks, then throwing trash everywhere cause they dont know how to extend their arm, open their fingers and release their garbage into a receptical. There is no hope for the doggie fans, no hope! I truly hope the Gators wipe the floor with yalls beee hinds!

Scott W.

August 11th, 2010
12:03 pm

I mean I had constructive comments but I guess those will just have to wait for the haterade to subside.

Gratefuldawghead

August 11th, 2010
12:07 pm

There will always be big time tailgating at Georgia no matter what Adams does!
GO DAWGS!

Big Black Jacket

August 11th, 2010
12:10 pm

That Hendley dude sounds like a total idiot. Seriously, who has the time to take off work and setup a camper or tent and sit around from Tuesday till Saturday game day so they do not miss getting a tailgating spot? Hendley, just like webster said, they aren’t helping the bad economy in anyway by spending money in downtown athens, they come to town campers filled up, bbq hot dogs burgers liquor and they sit there and wait for the game to start while taking up space!!! If anything there are more problems the bars/restaurants have to deal with that is unruly fans trampling into their bars, hanging around being space taker uppers. Ya hurd me mane?

Big Black Jacket

August 11th, 2010
12:12 pm

Oh yeah, poodle fans, please don’t stay in Atlanta for tailgating in your backyard or where ever, ya know why? Cause you bee in JACKETS COUNTRY NOW BOI!!!!

bo

August 11th, 2010
12:13 pm

what do businesses downtown sell that tailgaters buy? very little, if anything. it’s not an issue.

if you want to help the economy, abolish the early (noon or 1pm) games which will appraently be more common again this year.

sorry, UGA doesn’t owe tailgaters the right to eat, drink, and relieve themselves wherever they please. if that is more important to you than the game, stay home.

Tailgating on The Flats

August 11th, 2010
12:19 pm

I would be afraid, very afraid, of any tailgating around GT. Too many stray bullets.
Too many tech players running around and frightening the women. Too many ex jock car trunks open with um, ah, you know.
Go Dogs.

Beach Dawg

August 11th, 2010
12:20 pm

Lease spaces of different sizes for the season with common sense restrictions. If done properly you can retain the charm of fan run tailgating, maintain security and manage the trash. Don’t forget to add porta johns to the equation.

SSIgator

August 11th, 2010
12:21 pm

Seeing the mess on the beach every year after a few thousand drunken UGA “fans” leave to go home after the Gator Bowl I can’t imagine what Athens must look like after a home game. But then again if UGA keeps losing at home to the likes of Kentucky the crowds should be getting smaller as time goes on.

Delbert D.

August 11th, 2010
12:31 pm

I never understood the tailgating thing. The idea is to attend a football game. If you can’t eat before driving to the game, stop off at a Hardees.

TigerTime

August 11th, 2010
12:35 pm

This is what happens when a fanbase is made up primarily of rednecks and trailer trash who are used to just leaving their waste wherever they happen to be standing and using a field as a bathroom facility. Everyone else in the SEC is laughing their arse off at the slimebucket known as THuga, both players AND fans.

Scott W.

August 11th, 2010
12:42 pm

Well I think it’s great that haters can post and not UGA fans.

Gratefuldawghead

August 11th, 2010
12:46 pm

The fan base has contributed so much money to UGA that UGA is listed in Forbes top 10 of contributions. They Deserve a spot to tailgate!
How Bout Them DAWGS!

How2fish

August 11th, 2010
1:03 pm

SSIgator yeppers and I bet all of your empty Boone’s Farm bottles make it to a trashcan. Not to mention the spent AK-47 shells…and where do you dispose of the dead peoples wallets you take the stolen credit cards from?

DawginLex

August 11th, 2010
1:06 pm

Biggest clean up at the swamp after every home game is the dude sweeping up the hair from all the mullets and the strings flying off the end of all the jorts.

jdawgs34

August 11th, 2010
1:09 pm

Since the atmosphere by the Athletic Dept and Prez…we have not renewed the seatbacks, they say they are weatherproof…no they are not ($84). I have ordered Dry Fit Shirts and getting them monogramed with GEORGIA,….cheaper…no game day shirt…so on and so on. If this is the trend, then I can start a trend. Less money spent in Athens for both Athletics and Clarke County. In fact, I intend to buy everything outside the county and bring in since it is not being appreciated. I agree, 6 count them just SIX days and they treat us like we are criminals. I will enjoy the last laugh…

Tech Wrek

August 11th, 2010
1:12 pm

thuga fans just don’t know better, they’re only leaving piles of trash wheverever they go because they feel more at home if they can recreate their trash-filled double-wide concrete-block-mounted pieces of heaven

How2fish

August 11th, 2010
1:22 pm

Tech Wrek…….8-1 and we didn’t even make rings….

Tech Wrek

August 11th, 2010
1:28 pm

how2fish…how does a thuga fan fish? with dynamite? unless we’re talking women, in which case i suppose the idea is to throw enough alcohol at enough moralless women (in high supply!) until you look as good to them as the piles of trash you will be sleeping together in

Rebel Dawg

August 11th, 2010
1:36 pm

We tailgate at the CE building and have always picked up our trash and kept it very clean when we leave. However this year we are going to trash it every weekend with beer cans and old food! Just our little way of telling Dr Adams to kiss our UGA ass.

MsBulldawg

August 11th, 2010
1:44 pm

Tailgating at Eastside Village is an option, just get there early, no parking permit required, shuttle service to the game and then a downhill walk back to the parking lot. There are also businesses along S. Milledge Avenue that will rent their lots for tailgaters for the season. Twenty-four days and counting…….

Dawgtards ruin this state

August 11th, 2010
1:46 pm

tailgating at the piggly wiggly in Shreveport, AGAIN

GeoffDawg

August 11th, 2010
1:48 pm

Paul H – I don’t disagree that the majority are non-students. My post was in response to Bill’s comment which seemed to imply that student’s tailgating was just a recent phenomena. My recollection from college approximately 15 years ago was something different.

Big time?? Not

August 11th, 2010
1:54 pm

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes, free tailgate spot right beside Turd ….Grant Field.

Gratefuldawghead

August 11th, 2010
1:54 pm

The SEC has left SHREVEPORT to the ACC (All Coast Clear) and picked up the Gator. So Tech has a great chance to play there …An Upgrade from that Blue turf bowl yall enjoy! When is the last time Tech WON a bowl game?
GO DAWGS!

No mas

August 11th, 2010
1:58 pm

Not doing any tailgating this year nor going to any games. Adams is an idiot to let a few bad apples spoil the whole cart. Economy is bad so Im staying home this year and watching the Dawgs in my living room. Sure hope they play a lot better this year too.

Rapped out

August 11th, 2010
2:05 pm

Sanford stadium has become nothing but a big rap concert on game days with rap music blaring with vulgar lyrics.. Players rather dance instead of having their mind on football. Now the new Stadium Music that will be on the jumbo tron is nothing but blaring rap. Im not going this year either.

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