I’d like to pay Auburn a compliment. No, really.

Honestly, I’m sorry I’m just picking up on this story today, because I would have trumpeted it back in June when Jay Jacobs announced it had I been paying attention.

After years and years of scaling back, Auburn is trying to open up its long history of tailgate culture again.

Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs unveiled a plan to create 2,000 more free parking spaces in and around the campus close to Jordan-Hare Stadium on Friday, removing some of the restrictions that have been put in over the years.

Excuse me, what is this “free” game day parking you speak of?

But wait… there’s more!

“We’re going to increase the number of transit stops and buses that are servicing this area if they choose to ride the buses instead of walk,” Scott Carr, Auburn associate athletic director for external affairs sad.

Auburn’s game day staff will be increased to help serve tailgaters. Lights, transit pickup spots and restroom availability will be increased near the gardens.

“The area down by the pond (in the facilities division) will be a free tailgating area,” Jeremy Roberts, assistant athletic director for operations, said. “We’ll have staff out there that will make sure we maximize the efficiency of the space.”

You make this sound so reasonable, Auburn.

I feel like somebody living in the old East Germany, jealous of how my West German relatives get to live.

Sadly for us, the man who brought Gene Chizik to the Plains has grasped one essential truth which so far has escaped the minds of the people calling the shots in Athens:  if you’re trying to give folks you’re marketing the game day experience to a reason to come instead of staying at home with their widescreen TVs, the first rule is to make the game day experience as welcoming as possible.

“Fan friendly” doesn’t start with making sure WiFi is available in Sanford Stadium.

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37 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

37 responses to “I’d like to pay Auburn a compliment. No, really.

  1. nor does jacking up the price of the south parking deck by 33% just because you can.

  2. Castleberry

    You nailed it.

    For what it’s worth – “All patrons who contribute a minimum of $2,500 and purchase season tickets through the Athletic Association on the same account will automatically be assigned a season parking pass.”

    Pro-tip: Park in front of the president’s house where there is free street parking. It’s a long way to the stadium, but it beats paying. This works even better if you’re driving an old hooptie with a few dozen Bulldog Club decals on the front windshield. Maybe you can hitch a ride in his shuttle.

  3. Navin Johnson

    Shhh! It is too far to walk to the stadium from anywhere on the Prince Ave. corridor. I repeat – it is too far to walk. Nothing to see here.

  4. Otto

    I grew up tailgating within walking distance of the bookstore and downtown. It is a pain or expensive to tailgate with that luxury now. It is a big reason why I rarely buy tickets to UGA games. Auburn has been a joy to tailgate at.

    • sniffer

      Otto, I agree about the tailgate experience on the plains. Part of the reason is because its “on the plains”. Flat, colorless pasture. Yeah, there are trees on campus (not at Toomers anymore. Too soon?) but the fringes of campus are butt ugly flatlands.

      • 81Dog

        It isn’t just the fringes of campus. It’s everything from Lanett to the Mississippi state line. Just sayin’….

  5. DawgPhan

    have you seen the product that Auburn is putting on the field the last couple of years? Not exactly something that you could charge a premium for.

  6. Vince Dooley's Combover

    …. but I really would like it if they had wifi available in the stadium

  7. uglydawg

    Clemson without a lake.

  8. Hank

    That story makes no sense. Everybody knows the proper thing to do for the tailgating experience is to jack up the prices, push the free parkers way off campus, close down half the tailgating spaces, threaten the ticket holders that there are plenty of people lined up to get your tickets if you don’t pay up, give every cop on campus a brand new four wheeler, every year, to hide in the bushes with in case somebody should park in a place that particular cop designates illegal, wait for them to walk off and tow their car. Oh yeah, if the tailgater should happen to set up at 6:58 am, get the cop on the brand new four wheeler to treat them as if they were lighting children of fire.

    If you do run buss service, make sure to only let them begin moving the people after the game is completely over and 90,000+ people flood the streets. Auburn will be broke in a week.

    • Otto

      Exactly, and if you do allow them to tailgate be sure to limit the number of dumpsters so it looks like a mess no matter what.

      • hailtogeorgia

        That was the one thing that always frustrated me so much – the administration always responded with ‘We have (insert ridiculous number here) trash cans available on gameday, it’s a matter of people not being courteous and throwing their refuse in the trash.’ The solution wasn’t necessarily more trashcans, it was having people to go around and empty the trash cans when they’re full. It doesn’t matter one damned bit if they have 100 trash cans on the North Campus Quad if they’re all full by 12:30 and there are still 7 1/2 more hours before kickoff. Even Cousin Eddie knew what to do when the shitter’s full – you empty it.

        Add to this the fact that North Campus is the main thoroughfare for folks walking from downtown to anywhere on campus, and it’s no surprise that you have a lot of trash.

    • Otto

      Auburn’s bus service to Tiger Town worked well and this was in 2010 when they were on their way to a BCS Title.

    • Ubiquitous Ga Alum

      You forgot to assign said police a tape measure so as to ensure the safety of all fans … because we know that a table > 6 feet is an accident waiting to happen … as our tents, tvs, music and portable grills

    • edawg

      Also gotta make sure nobody starts tailgating on North Campus until 11-freaking-thirty for a 4:30 game. Otherwise, things might get too fun and people might want to come more often.

  9. hassan

    Everybody knows all you need to get people out to the game is a bouncy house in an alcohol free zone.

  10. AthensHomerDawg

    Well, excuse me as I whip this gem out.
    “October 4, 2009
    With the recent series of home football games at UGA, the problem of trash collection and disposal have reached near epic proportions this year. After the first home football game, American Stadium Services reported that they collected over 70 tons of trash from around the campus.

    North Campus, especially the areas between the Main Library and Broad Street were particularly affected. UGA Police reported that a number of people had also used several areas of the greenspace as a bathroom, along with leaving enourmous amounts of trash and debris in the area. After a large public outcry over the state of the campus after the first home game, a number of efforts were made to curtain the amount of trash generated. While the football game on the 26th of September was much cleaner, it was undetermined how much of that was due to the efforts of groups advocating a cleaner gameday experience including President Mike Adams, and how much the rain that fell over that weekend contributed. ”

    I really enjoy the tailgate. I enjoy walking the U of Ga on game day . Glad my sons picked Georgia. They were born in Athens. It is a shame when selfish people won’t behave. From the drunk fans that yell obscenities during the game or the fool that leaves our buildings in disarray. It costs us all.

    • Hank

      Selfish…. Pot, meet kettle.
      I’m sure the extra trash had absolutely nothing to do with the lock down of all buildings on campus on game day. No parking and games starting at 8:00 pm, so you have to show up early to get a spot and be there for 14 hours before the game even starts. Those port-a-potties get a little rank after several hours in the heat. Grown men will resort to peeing outside, in a pinch.
      I bet his sons were able to get in the President’s office bathrooms, before being driven to the game and take the elevator to the President’s suite – stocked bar and all. I doubt they paid for their tickets, either.
      Who put that video of the clouds up the other day? How do I get there?

    • One time during a game a fan near me yelled WAY too loud and even dropped some horrible words. It ruined the experience of beating the heck out of one of our rivals for me. On the walk back to town I saw some drunk student peeing (I assume) near the law school where there’s shurbs and it’s secluded. I feel confident some of the oaks near there died because of the urine, which must have been the first on-campus urine in over 40 years. Honestly, I wish our fans would act more like Tech fans – be quiet during games, tailgate at your house, and don’t show up so early and cause traffic to be bad. In fact, I enjoy the way Tech fans don’t even crowd in at the stadium and you have lots of room there.

  11. Slaw Dawg

    I don’t mind a 30-45 minute hike if the end product is worth seeing. When the end product involves frequent and lengthy breaks (TV time out + play reviews) during which one is bombarded with commercials and/or a “contest” against some directional school I’ve barely heard of, I do at times conclude I’d just as soon view the end product somewhere I can either fast forward through the breaks or listen to it while getting in some quality yard work. Maybe I’m getting old, but if I’m gonna shell out money and time, I want quality.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      We are all getting old. Beats the alternative. You and I both probably need the exercise. ;-) Anyway…. “buy the ticket – take the ride. ” I think we both knew going into this season that North Texas and Ap State are what they are. Given that Alabama schedule puts them at somewhat of a competitive advantage (among others) what would you have us do? These “competitive advantages” are annoying to deal with. Our “brand identity” is fine. Right?

  12. S.E Dawg

    Somebody please e-mail that to GM pronto.

  13. Debby Balcer

    We tailgate on East Campus and ride the bus to the stadium. Good tailgating does make the game more fun. : HA could do a much better job of helping to make things better with more trash cans.

  14. DawgPhan

    If you are not having a good time in Athens on a gameday you are doing it wrong.

  15. Matt

    Left out of the AU report was the addition of several new fire hydrants so facilities workers have easier access when the hosing down of opponents fans is required.

    I hate Auburn

  16. Moosefish

    Ich bin ein Berliner!

  17. Bulldog Joe

    Going winless in the conference will make an organization more fan-friendly out of necessity.

    I hope it never has to come to that, here.