Tailgating Policy, Part I

SFN will have a lot more to say on this quickly boiling topic later.

For now, I will direct you to this excellent, thorough piece from our blogging friends at RAWFS.

In short, I think this is the worst kind of administrative nonsense – a solution in search of a problem.

I’ve been going to games all my life (I am 33 years old), and I’ve never had a real problem (even with my 3 young children), with the possible exception of people who want to play their music for the whole lot to hear. Given the number of people involved, I am not shocked at the number of “incidents” – but rather, the lack of more (and more serious ones).

Tailgating is one of the only truly storied traditions at NC State, and is extremely important to some of our most loyal paying customers. Hell, tailgating helps keep NC State football going sometimes, as we tend to have more than our share of lean years in the win column.

Even periodic SFN commenter and Hole fan BobLee Swagger is on the side of the angels this time. What further proof do you need?

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

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22 Responses to Tailgating Policy, Part I

  1. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 08/25/2006 at 12:11 PM #

    This is a classic example of people with nothing else to do except make up rules. People have been tailgating at Carter Stadium since the late 60’s. Now, all of a sudden, we need some ‘enlightened’ folks to set new policies for the rest of us to follow. Maybe someone needs to make sure these folks have enough work. This just seems to me to be people with way too much time on their hands.

    I will never understand why people are so damn willing to give up their freedoms for security. And why their are people that spend weeks, months and years trying to figure out ways to take freedoms away from others. Insanity!

  2. Clarksa 08/25/2006 at 12:44 PM #

    I might could understand the four hour policy if it was truly a knee-jerk reaction to the murders two years ago and implemented at the next game. However I’ll never understand why it took them two years to come up with this crap…

  3. RAWFS 08/25/2006 at 12:48 PM #

    Actually, clark, they have toyed with it through the years — in the 1980’s it was a disaster and cars would be parked along Wade Avenue, Blue Ridge and Trinity waiting for the gates to open.

    This will be a disaster too from a traffic standpoint. And, it is a perfect example of punishing the many for the sins of the few. It’s like cutting down a forest to insure that there are no forest fires.

  4. choppack1 08/25/2006 at 1:13 PM #

    I thought they tried to implement this last year – or at least last year before one of the games.

    I’d prefer to have 4 hours to tailgate, but I don’t. My wife and I are doing well to get their 2:30 hours before kickoff (if we lived in Raleigh or closer than we do in Winston, we’d probably get their earlier or at least I would). When I’ve been lucky enough to get to the more than 3 hours early, I’ve seen very little traffic. Even when we arrive at our typical time, it’s usually a smooth ride to the tailgating grounds w/ little waiting in traffic.

    However, there should be some common sense exceptions:
    1) Allow RVs w/ appropriate parking passes extended hours.
    2) For a fee, grant extended tailgating permits: These can be granted for individual games or the season.
    3) Allow early tailgating for those only w/ tickets.

    The conclusion that only the drunks and the dregs show up more than 4 hours earlier is just pigheaded. The “set-up” men typically show up early to set up the tents, tvs, generators and/or cook the pig. These folks are typically fairly responsible since they are performing a task that requires some decent planning and attention to detail.

    I imagine if the public safety does a little tour 4 hours before game time, it will be fairly obvious whose there just to drink and who is tailgating in the classic “rolling all day, hurting no one” tradition.

  5. packbackr04 08/25/2006 at 1:47 PM #

    chop^^ great point, there are alot of people who go there as “set up men” who put up the tents, cook the pig, get everything ready for the friends and family to show up. And they need several hours to do so. This is really ridiculous and they are punishing decent hardworking americans who are just trying to get away from their wives for a few hours every saturday… i mean, enjoy the commoradory of friends with out their wives nagging at them….. im just gonna stop

  6. packbackr04 08/25/2006 at 2:46 PM #

    Does anyone have Chancellor O’s email…. i would like to tell him what i think of this

  7. MrPerfectionest 08/25/2006 at 2:47 PM #

    When mandates like this get passed down from people that are seemingly disconnected from the reality (though in difference to an earlier commenter, I did see Stafford on occasion in the fairgrounds lot ), it gets to be real frustrating and gives me feelings of hopelessness.

    Bob Lee Swagger has it exactly right that the student lots are the one with this problem. And sadly for those guys, it is just a few of the bad apples giving the whole body a black eye.

    I graduated in 02 and the memories of the student lots are still very vivid for me. The loud music, the aggressive behavior toward opposing fans, and an occasional fight are all very valid. My car found itself inside the yellow police not 10 feet from where one of the brothers took his last gasp of air.

    I’ve been an LTR holder for three years now parking in the RBC center lot, and the atmosphere is a near polar opposite. People just chill out here, and I love it. I can’t think of anything better than meeting up with college buddies that I haven’t seen since the season before and just getting to BS about life over a nice burger or some good beer. In all the roaming around I have done in the Alumni lots in three years, I (like Bob), have never witnessed the negativity that was often routinely associated with the student lots.

    Bob and especially Alpha Wolf offer up some great suggestions about fixing the problem. Moving the opposing fans away from walking through the student lots was a brilliant one that I don’t think I’d ever consider.

    I’ve always been a little miffed at the somewhat lack of police presence in the lots. If it is a money issue to get it staffed, just tack it on to the price of tickets for everyone. I hate to get nickel and dime’d but if it means I can get to the stadium to set up whenever I want AND have a safer environment, I’m all for it.

    I don’t know how many of the old schoolers here are aware of the debacle that was campout for tickets back in 2000 (http://tinyurl.com/f4nkd), but a lack of police presence in my opinion was a contributor to this problem (see comment by Catherine Odom http://tinyurl.com/hvnqa). In my estimation, there were less than 5 officers for ~3-4000 students who were allowed to drink openly during the campout. I was again appalled and saddened at the borderline anarchic behavior (I witnessed Miss Odom’s bumper being ripped from her Blazer), but not at all surprised. I’d be glad to donate to the fund that puts more cops in the proper locations to see these types of people have to pay for their stupidity.

    I really hope someone with more power or more organizational skills than I do gets this thing overturned and implemented the proper way. Who was on this committee and why are they apparently clueless about the situation?

  8. BobLee 08/25/2006 at 3:02 PM #

    Wow … Thanks MrPerfect! …
    Gigging bureaucrats is a popular sport for “humorists” because they tend to be easy targets … not always deservedly so as they do “try” to get it right (don’t they?).
    I’m not miffed that Stafford ignored me as much as his solutions indicate a total lack of awareness of the (limited) scope of the problem.
    Everyone I’m talking to at various levels of all this are convinced there will be changes to these policies after a few games when they try to implement them. The one that really matters is the 4 hour thing. I don’t see “fire retardant tents” being a biggie unless Stafford owns the distributorshiop for such tents in the Triangle.
    I’d pay cash money to see a rent-a-cop ask Wendell or Smedes for a picture ID !!!

  9. Mr O 08/25/2006 at 4:15 PM #

    I did see where RVs are allowed to come in early.

    Why are RVs classified differently than regular vehicles?

    This really is unfortunate.

  10. choppack1 08/25/2006 at 4:30 PM #

    BLS – I enjoyed your column. I’ll add that I always fancied FSU games and enjoyed the fantastic tailgating in Tally. However, for our game in 2003, we had to walk through their student tailgating quarters – and your “F-BOMB ALLEY” applied there as well – which is surprising given the 50% female (and quite attractive female) make up of the tailgators.

    Clearly that student section had gotten way out of control. The powers that were/be didn’t act until something horrid – not just embarassing – occurred. The sad thing is – I don’t think anyone was surprised when they looked back in hindsight. The fairgrounds had become a cheaper version of Bourbon Street. All you needed was a way to get to the fairgrounds and a case of beer and you were at one of the biggest, unpoliced parties in the Southeast.

    The novel concept of parking passes, law force prescence and student ID/tickets could have prevented a senseless tragedy. THAT’S ALL THAT WAS NECESSARY – instead – the “broad brush” is applied and it will reduce what is one of the finer tailgating experiences around.

  11. BobLee 08/25/2006 at 4:48 PM #

    Chop … similar situations exist to some degree at Maryland and VaTech and likely other places with large “festival” style parking. I have an associate w/ VaTech who has done a very similar F-Bomb Alley column to their fanbase and also got the attention of their authorities. They (VaTech) responded by increasing the security presence in the designated danger zone. It made a difference.
    Certainly it would happen in Chapel Hill too if the parking logistics were more conducive to such a circumstance. Oddly, one of the “negatives” of going to Kenan has this “positive” aspect to it.
    Good natured “gigging” of rival fans is a tradition of college football but we as a society seem to have lost our “civility compass”. It’s played out in politics as well.

  12. choppack1 08/25/2006 at 4:54 PM #

    BLS – That’s true – I think the saddest part of it all is that I have a feeling the kids don’t really understand what’s going on – the “mob rule” mentality rules – so the “participants” don’t think twice about cursing, heckling, etc – when all that was/is required is a law enforcement prescence and a reminder – “hey, these fans have a right to be here – and treat them as you’d want to be treated if you were in their stadium.”

  13. NCSUDude17 08/25/2006 at 5:02 PM #

    I can’t wait to see what happens when they institute this against Fla. St and nobody can get in the stadium at rush hour…….

  14. packpigskinfan23 08/25/2006 at 5:09 PM #

    all it really takes is a bit more police work in the student lots… I have been in those lots for the past 2 years… but then I also spent the Ohio State game in the Alumni lot…. to be honest, maybe it was just the nature of the game, the Alumni lot had a more hostile feel to it after the game then the Student lot was after the VaTech game last year….

    maybe the powers that be should be the ones to police this lot… 4 hours is not enough time to set up, cook a pig(I should know… I worked at Wilburs BBQ for 7 years), enjoy said pig with some beers, and throw around a football… period.

  15. packpigskinfan23 08/25/2006 at 5:12 PM #

    did anyone here have to deal with the hassle of the Student Gate’s at the VaTech game?!?! talk about a riot about to happen…. I swear I thought that I was gonna get crushed to death…. they give the students the 2 smallest gates… with ticket scanners that dont work… AND hold them back till well after the time the gates opened. The crowds got huge and one of the gates didnt even have an organized line…. nobody was in charge…

  16. wirogers 08/25/2006 at 7:39 PM #

    I think this is the typical over reaction of administration. First, why do students have to go only to two gates, we used to go in any gate if you had a ticket.

    As one who has been the person responsible for cooking the pig, you cannot get the damn thing done in 4 hours. IF you cook it off site and transport it, you take the chance of setting it on fire (take that one from experience).

    The administration should do as some have sugested, target the areas of the parking lot that are problems. Leave the rest alone, I am lucky now and have friends who are able to access the staff and faculty lots, I have never seen a problem there and really doubt there is a problem in the alumni or wolfpack club areas. Why hinder the experience of all for a few bad apples.


  17. packpigskinfan23 08/25/2006 at 9:20 PM #

    last years gate incident was because of the new student ticket policy… instead of having actual tickets, students printed off tickets online… they had a scanner problem. the 2 gates remained all year however…. I think they have more gates for students this year. it was still a horrible mess that could have turned out deadly.

  18. gumbydammit 08/26/2006 at 10:15 PM #

    Here again, ladies and gentlemen, we have yet ANOTHER example of the MAN trying to keep us down.

    I think we need a new explitive to describe this situation.

  19. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 08/28/2006 at 3:46 PM #

    You don’t email the pinheads you call them.

  20. Cardiff Giant 08/28/2006 at 4:50 PM #

    I’m just mad about the no kegs rule. What if I get thirsty?

  21. packpigskinfan23 08/29/2006 at 9:08 AM #

    hahaha… Cardiff~ I agree to some extent. what about the large groups? but I do understand that kegs make bing drinking more available to people…. but then again, there would be FAR less trash!!!

  22. packof81 08/29/2006 at 12:21 PM #

    After a few big traffic jams, lots of tickets may go on sale.

    This is a reaction to the shooting. It is not a solution to any problem. It is the the creation of several new problems.

    As for the binge drinking, ban kegs and people will sneak in liquor.

    As for the impression other fans get of NC State, let’s not forget the riots incited by those Irate PIrates or the one almost incited by the Maryland fans. Maryland ought to change the name of their arena to the Comcuss center.

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