When done properly, there's nothing better than a tailgate party. There's the sweet scent of barbequed goodies, the delicious taste of a summery adult beverage, the excitement for the big game, and, of course, the camaraderie of a few good friends.
Tailgating is a storied tradition at Texas A&M, and anyone who has attended an Aggies football game in recent years would probably admit that the game-day atmosphere at the school is one of the best in the state.
The Aggies are working hard in training camp to get ready for the 2012 season.
Here are some tips for game-day tailgating in Aggieland:
Venue: Kyle Field
Location: College Station, Texas
Year Opened: 1927
Best Tailgate Spot: Spence Park is a spectacular place to party on Saturday football gamedays. It is located on the east side of Houston St., off of George Bush Drive, directly across from the Read Building. This is the place to be to enjoy some food and cold beverages with friends. There's also plenty of space to toss around a Frisbee or set up some chairs without bothering other fans.
Tailgating Times: Unless otherwise designated, site setup may begin no earlier than noon on "set-up day" (the day immediately preceding a NCAA-recognized campus sporting event). Claiming tailgate areas prior to noon on "set-up day" is prohibited.
No overnight occupancy is allowed in tailgating areas. Site must be vacated by midnight on "set-up day." Tailgating sites open at 6:30 a.m. on "gameday" and must be cleared and cleaned by midnight or three hours after the game, whichever is later.
Tailgating Prohibited Areas: The use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on the MSC Lawn, Simpson Drill Field (except designated areas), the All Faiths Chapel Grounds, in Cain Park, and inside university facilities unless otherwise designated. Additionally, generators and BBQ grills on trailers are prohibited in Spence Park.
What's Not Allowed: In addition to the items listed above, commercial advertising signage and displays are prohibited in tailgate areas. Consumption of alcohol and/or the use of fire or grilling apparatus in University parking garages (including roof) are also prohibited.
What's Allowed: If you decide to tailgate in the Reed Arena Grass area, trailer mounted grills, smokers or televisions may be placed in the green spaces, provided the towing vehicle does not enter the green space. All foods and beverages are allowed in this area.
In Spence Park, music is allowed as long as it's kept at a reasonable volume that doesn't bother other guests. All foods and drinks are allowed in this area.
Site-Specific Rules: Spence Park and Reed Arena Grass are "Open Access Sites," which means they are determined as tailgating areas that are outside of the 15-feet distance from designated parking lots and are not tied to parking privileges. They are available to any patrons who set up a tailgate based on "Responsible Tailgating General Rules."
Responsible Tailgating: University rules permit the use of alcoholic beverages at tailgate parties or picnic activities at NCAA intercollegiate athletic events only on the day of the event and in the general proximity of the event, including outdoor locations or in outdoor parking areas.
"The use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on the MSC Lawn, Simpson Drill Field (except designated areas), the All Faiths Chapel Grounds, in Cain Park, and inside university facilities unless otherwise designated. In accordance with the alcoholic beverage laws of the State of Texas individuals must be at least 21 years old to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages. The use of alcoholic beverages by members of the Texas A&M University community is at all times subject to the alcoholic beverage laws of the State of Texas."
Personal Experience: Texas A&M football fans know how to party. I have had several tailgating experiences at NFL and MLB events, and there's really nothing like Texas A&M.
The folks here go all out on barbequing and getting the full football game-day experience done the right way. My only advice would be to show up early to secure a good parking spot, because the area around Spence Park can fill up fairly quickly.
Eric Holden is a lifelong Texas A&M football fan, and visited the campus several times during the 2010 season when his best friend was attending school there. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
http://tailgating.tamu.edu/index.html, Gameday In Aggieland, Texas A&M tailgating rules
- Sports & Recreation
- alcoholic beverages