The publisher's opinion of the 1999 University of Delaware's tailgating policy
Tailgating Policy Enforced:
Blue Hen fans are reminded that the University of Delaware's long-standing policy is that tailgating parties are to cease at game time. Tailgaters must then enter Delaware Stadium or leave University property. In order to help ensure fan safety and protection of property, this policy will be strictly enforced during the 1999 football season.
The Publisher's opinion:
You would have to be a lover of tailgating to really comprehend the full enjoyment we get out of spending time with family, friends and fellow Blue Hen faithful around a truck/car tailgate, hatchback or trunk.
It's great sharing your love for Blue Hen college football on Saturday's with those who share the same passion. It's more than the game that attracts many of us to South Campus each fall. The game is only a part of the experience. Without the freedom to go into the game when you are ready or exit when you feel you had enough or even to grab a beer and snack at half-time at the central meeting point for all ("The Tailgate"), the experience starts to feel like a controlled environment that Big brother is dictating how the experience should be had.
The fact is, this Tailgating policy, if enforced will most assuredly drive dedicated fans away from the Hens and into a more welcoming environment. Oh, people can say they must not be true fans to begin with, but that would be arrogant and shortsighted. If the only definition of a true fan is their total attention to the game, than the powers that be are over estimating the value of their product and under estimating the value of their product's intangibles.
Note: This is just the opinion of the Publisher of this web site and in no way reflects ill feeling toward the University or it's administration. It is being stated to express deep concern over the enforcement of this policy.
Please visit our Tailgating page.
1UD to enforce tailgating policy:
Beginning with the first football game at 7 p.m. in Delaware Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 2, the University of Delaware will strictly enforce its long-standing policy requiring tailgating to cease when the football game begins.
Beginning with the first day time game on Saturday, Sept. 18, fans will be able to tailgate until kickoff and again after the game until 5:30 p.m. under the policy.
UD has developed a public relations campaign to advise fans of the strict enforcement and to encourage their early arrival into the stadium. In advertisements, banners and signs, YoUDee, the Fightin’ Blue Hen mascot, is letting it be known that the party is INSIDE the stadium and that tailgaters must get their tails to the gate by game time.
In a related promotion, Dining Services and Coca-Cola will provide a Coke Card to season ticket holders, which–when used in Delaware Stadium prior to kickoff–will entitle fans to a free hot dog with the purchase of a large fountain beverage.
Additionally, before kickoff at each game, fans can enter a drawing to win a Coca-Cola cooler or weatherproof blanket and a case of Coca-Cola product. The winner will be announced during the game. At the last home football game of the season, a grand prize drawing will be held during halftime for two free airline tickets to anywhere in the continental United States.
The decision to strictly enforce the tailgating policy has drawn positive feedback from alumni, season ticket holders and corporate sponsors, Edgar N. Johnson, UD director of athletics, said. Those groups, as well as ticket offices and alumni offices of opposing football teams, are being notified of the change through special mailings and individual follow-up.
"Our goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to the University of Delaware," Johnson said. "Last season, we had 23 fans–not all of them students–who had to be transported to the hospital because of alcohol poisoning. Clearly, that is unacceptable.
"And, for the first time in years," Johnson said, "we had complaints last year from fans whose automobiles were damaged by tailgaters. "It became obvious that tailgating was an issue we needed to address," he said, "and we have done so, I believe, in a manner that affirms the spirit of the Delaware athletic tradition and that will be applauded by all true fans of Blue Hen football."
The policy, which has been endorsed by UD’s Athletic Governing Board, will be enforced by additional security officers who will help move fans into the stadium at kickoff.
Tailgaters who do not wish to enter the stadium at or before game time will be required to leave UD property, Johnson said.
A message from the UD Athletics Department:
The University of Delaware has a long-standing tailgating policy that will be strictly enforced during the 1999 football season. That policy requires tailgating to cease when the football game begins. Tailgaters will be required to enter Delaware Stadium at game time or leave University property.
As has been the case in the past, patrons will be permitted to tailgate after the game until 5:30pm.
Our planned enforcement of our existing policy results from incidents experienced last season. We were concerned for the well-being of the 23 tailgaters suffering from alcohol poisoning for whom we provided ambulance transportation to the hospital. We also were concerned for Blue Hen fans whose automobiles were damaged by tailgaters who did not come to Delaware Stadium to watch football but rather to tailgate.
Our responsibility is to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to the University of Delaware. I am confident that all true friends of the University will support our efforts to exercise that responsibility.
In all events, our policy for the 1999 football season is that tailgaters must get their tails to the gate by game time! Thanks in advance for your continuing support of Delaware athletics.
Edgar N. Johnson
Director of Athletics