As a spectator I huddled in the corner of the athletic director’s conference room trying to note the many on-going playbook conversations while enduring a debatable presentation from a peer today for the landscaping of the new UNT football stadium. This post will not talk of the presentation because of my professional courtesy to her, but one active conversation did raise the cross bar in my mind. Had the play calling been a bit louder, the landscape discussion would have appreciatively been muffled.
The University in its planning efforts for the new stadium is smartly trying to cater a bit to the alumni, supporters, and fans of the game. This 2-hour meeting afforded a 90-minute conversation about the science, philosophy, and strategies of providing for the Saturday Football tailgaters. Who knew such an activity could dominate the discussion like it did, all the while having the football program not mentioned whatsoever. I didn’t (just enter a Google search “tailgating” and see what you get). In the way of websites, we got your http://www.tailgating.com/ and http://tailgating.org/. And then there is http://www.thetailgatingpros.com/ and http://www.tailgatingideas.com/ to name a few. I had not a clue about all this research. And some of these Internet “organizations” even have presidents!
There is obviously a tailgating science to this planning. Several universities and a lot of tradition talk were brought up in today’s discussion as “they’re doing it right”. Let’s just say and think this: Road Trip!
This fall I may need to begin, as part of my CFB postings, a series of tailgate stories and photos, and how this event has come to be such a huge part of game day Saturday. Even though I already have several articles for her to read, OFNi Dani, working as a young professional (architecture degree and all) at a reputable, internationally acclaimed sports facilitiy architectural firm, will be informally interviewed this weekend about stadium tailgating and what her firm does to accommodate the needs, traditions, and smell of tailgating…or we could just plan a few road trips now and find out first hand what all this is about. We may even get to take in a game while we’re at it.
BTW…JaiJai and Bec: before either of you get too excited, I’m not doing Baylor, Texas, or KU (unless any of them happen to play K-State on the same day as the tailgating). Tea and crumpets aren’t for me y’all. (Let it begin here, now) :)