Last weekend we saw a tweet from the Texas Tech athletics department that showed a picture of an awesome-looking tailgate outside of an open practice that the Red Raiders football team held in Midland, Texas.
The future of tailgating has arrived! Founded by Texas Tech Alumns - Check it out today in Midland outside Gate 2! pic.twitter.com/6aNutkYCsp— Texas Tech Athletics (@TechAthletics) March 29, 2014
Billing it as “the future of tailgating” piqued our interest, so we reached out to Texas Tech for some more information about what we were seeing. We were pointed in the direction of a product called “boxGATE,” which was founded by two Texas Tech grads, Jane’t Howey and Sheryl Estes.
The product repurposes shipping containers to create an fantastic tailgating experience that features a full bar ready for a keg, two flatscreen TVs, a grill, a leather sofa and even 8-foot by 20-foot “observation deck.”
This thing looks as cool as it sounds.
Howey and Estes founded the “boxLIFE” business when the two were discussing the possibilities of reusing shipping containers.
“Sheryl began talking about an idea she had of building an apartment complex out of shipping containers. Much to my surprise, I had actually been researching shipping containers as well and was in the developmental stage of planning an urban trailer park built from the containers. We both had a good laugh because who in the world dreams about containers other than us?” Howey said in an email to Yahoo Sports.
“The odds of us both unknowingly thinking of ways to utilize shipping containers was astronomical, so we knew we had to explore its possibilities. We drew up our ideas on a piece of paper from my son’s notebook and boxLIFE was born.”
The two knew how popular tailgating is at sporting events across the country, so Howey said the concept was a “natural fit.”
Howey said that boxGATE will partner up with universities and organizations with the goal of providing something comparable to what a luxury suite provides inside a stadium. The university or organization will market boxGATE units to lease to fans and corporations to use for the season.
“Each contract is unique to the university. Our business model works much like the DVD rental giant, RedBox,” Howey said. “We deliver the units to the universities or organizations we partner with and simply divide the proceeds based on a negotiated contract. It is our goal to create a win-win situation for our partners and for us.”
Texas Tech is their first university partner and Howey said that they are currently involved in contract negotiations “with multiple universities and organizations.” They also sell the individual boxGATE units to businesses like restaurants or car dealerships that may want to have a tailgate atmosphere for an event on their property.
Howey said that the units, which are built from 8x20 foot shipping containers, take “less than five minutes” to set up.
“The fold down deck is motorized, the awning slides out, the doors are unlatched, just fire up the attached grill and flip on the two HD televisions and the party is started. It comes with everything you need plus the kitchen sink,” she said.
You can find out more information about the boxGATE at the company website and take a look at a sneak peak of what is coming once the football season rolls around this fall.
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