Sep 24, 2014 6:17 PM
New UNH tailgating policy could threaten game attendance
DURHAM - The University of New Hampshire has made some changes to its tailgating policy and that has many students upset.
College football is full of tradition and pageantry, and nothing shows the uniqueness of a college town better than its tailgating scene.
"There's drinking like there is at every homecoming, at every school across the country," said Priscilla Tengdin, a senior at UNH.
But kegs, drinking games and glass bottles, among other items, won't be allowed at the tailgate. UNH decided to change the policy this summer so that by the time their new football stadium is built in 2016, students, alumni and families would have a safe, enjoyable time at athletic events.
"We want to start changing the culture around the game before we move into the stadium to the extent that we want to have everybody have great fan experience, we want to have different affinity areas and we want to find a way that we are engaging the students in a different way," said UNH Athletic Director, Marty Scarano.
But the students don't see it that way.
"It's breaking tradition. We've always been able to tailgate in Boulder Field and now we don't have that," said junior, Nicole Graham.
This Saturday is the first night game for the UNH football team underneath the brand new, HD stadium lights. But students are concerned the policy change could affect attendance.
"I think that telling students they can't drive into Boulder Field is going to discourage them from coming," said Tengdin.
"People are going to be as apt to go to the games, maybe, because people go to the games not only to watch football and cheer on our football team, but they do go to have fun," added Graham.
The policies have already been put into place. They include:
- Tailgating areas opening four hours prior to game time
- Game tickets are required for entry into the tailgating lots
- No tailgating permitted while waiting in line to enter official tailgating areas
- ID's being checked at the entrances and wristbands provided for those 21 and over
- RV's need to be pre-registered with athletics
- Beer and wine in reasonable quantities
o No one is allowed to bring more than six, 12-ounce beers or four 12-ounce wine coolers into the event
o No hard alcohol is allowed
- No vehicles in the Lewis Field area
- Tailgating ends at kick-off
- Boulder field is reserved for parking and tailgating, but UNH students are not allowed to drive their cars into the lot
o All vehicles should pre-purchase parking passes
- Lot A will be available for free parking for UNH students with a valid ID and game ticket and will be alcohol-free tailgating.
The follow items and actions are not allowed:
- Drinking games
- Excessive drinking
- Glass bottles
- Box trucks
- Animals, aside from service animals
- Amplified sound