Since the announcement that only 20%-25% of seats would be filled for games in Sanford Stadium this year we’ve been waiting for the University of Georgia to clarify the rules around on-campus tailgating. It’s now pretty clear.
There won’t be any.
The University announced today that on-campus tailgating setups will not be allowed this season, though fans will be allowed to “gather near their vehicle with family members or those with whom they traveled and plan to sit with in the stadium.” I’m not sure how that’s distinguished from tailgating, though I anticipate a shot luge might draw some unwelcome attention.
As a reminder, fans issued tickets for each home game this year will likewise be issued parking passes, which ideally will allow the school and Athens-Clarke County officials to avoid congestion in and around the stadium. Practically speaking, people are stubborn. There will most likely be large gatherings of people just off campus just like there have been for years. But there’s really not a lot the University can do to prevent that.
UGA’s blanket ban is consistent with those already put in place by at least half the SEC. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Arkansas, Ole Miss, LSU, and Missouri will also not host tailgaters this season. Tennessee and South Carolina are allowing only very limited gathering. Texas A&M’s decision is apparently a shambolic mess, but then that’s the most Aggie way to do it.
Is it sad that we won’t be able to gather with those we love in the places we love to do the things we love? Absolutely. But this seems a necessary step consistent with prevailing public health guidelines which I hope we’ll look back on one day as we share a biscuit and a breakfast beer together in Tent City. For now, wherever you are, we’ll have to hate Auburn together from afar. Until later...