Mar 18, 2010

Keeping North Campus Beautiful.... at What Cost?

So if you haven't seen it yet, THIS NEWS is spreading like wildfire and enraging Bulldog fans everywhere. It seems that in an effort to punish past tailgaters for trashing North Campus and to solve the problem, UGA has decided that in 2010 tailgating can't start on North Campus more than 4 hours before a game. Also, tailgaters can't bring tents, kegs, generators, televisions, "amplified music," grills or cookers "of any type," tables (larger than 4 ft. long) or household furniture onto North Campus. For parking lots all over campus, tailgaters can't bring pull-behind trailers or grills.

Now to me, this is pretty shocking. I don't even tailgate. That's right, I don't tailgate. My gameday ritual usually involves watching other football games wherever I can until the time comes that I need to head to campus to get to the stadium early (usually an hour before kickoff) while plenty of people are still tailgating outside.

But here's the thing: one of my favorite parts of those fall gamedays is getting to drive and walk around campus to Sanford Stadium, passing the thousands of tailgating fans.

I've complained before about tailgaters, especially those in North Campus who fill the whole area with smoke and garbage, and many often leave their trash behind.

But on Saturdays in the fall, walking through that Red and Black metropolis of giant tents, smoking grills, huge TVs playing live football games and blaring music is part of the tradition. Despite the mess afterwards, the transformation of North Campus from quiet trees and grass to thousands of barking fans bringing their homes to nature is perhaps the most memorable place other than Sanford Stadium on gamedays.

I'm not really certain how one tailgates without tents, grills or televisions. This makes me wonder if anyone will still tailgate on North Campus, other than those who want to sit in lawn chairs and enjoy the peace and quiet. This also makes me wonder if these new rules are some kind of joke/purposefully harsh measure to just scare people, and when everyone complains they'll lessen the penalties. I don't know. All I do know is that for this non-tailgater, it'll be sad to see the death of tailgating on North Campus, and along with it the death of a priceless Georgia tradition.

(NOTE: I'm all for keeping North Campus preserved. A lot of UGA football fans are just that: football fans, but they don't necessarily care about the University itself. I do. As an alum who loves his school, I care about the history, reputation and image of the University and everything related to it. From what I've seen, the worst result of the raucous tailgating in North Campus is damage to the grass and soil, and obviously the trash on top of it. If UGA is willing to pay enough money, I think that could be cleaned up/fixed easily. If the tailgating was somehow doing irreparable damage to the most historic and beautiful part of campus, then I'd agree that something needs to be done. But when it comes to eliminating temporary trash and preserving grass and soil, or a sea of Red and Black and a memorable Georgia gameday environment, I have to go with preserving Georgia gamedays as we know them.)


  1. You don't need a tent, generator, stereo system, and big screen TV to tailgate. A few folding chairs around a blanket and cooler is how tailgating has traditionally been done. So I welcome the changes. If you want to drink in a bar, there are several in Athens. But the North Campus quads aren't one of them.

  2. I agree with you, but I doubt most modern Georgia tailgaters do. I'm curious to see how people respond to this and what North Campus will look like when the season starts. Also, note that they didn't ban alcohol from North Campus tailgates, so people are still free to get trashed in lawn chairs and bring as much non-prohibited garbage as they want to leave on the grass.

  3. I think the trash problem will go away. At least on the 3 NC quads subject to the recent problems. I've been tailgating there for 20 years and the trash wasn't a big issue until the last few years when the idiots, who think you can't tailgate without all the banned items, showed up.

    I will be tailgating at NC this fall. I won't be able to bring my tent, but that's the only effect these new rules have on my tailgate. Of course, the positive effects of NC being quieter, having less trash, and less excrement will be nicer too.

  4. They need to put the Cracker Ass Fans in jail that do this... Hell some are even leaving turds !!!!
    It is disgusting and ridiculous.

    They are dickweeds that need to be punished..

  5. Don't turds make the grass grow greener? Maybe they were just trying to help cut down on the cost of fertilizer. Keep North Campus green!