In 2005, the Georgia State University Athletic Department made changes to its core structure and strategy as the university entered the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Among the new ideas used by the Athletic Department was something that made Georgia State more like traditional universities: tailgating.
For the second year in a row, tailgating will be a part of Georgia State’s school spirit initiative for men’s basketball games. The effort was started by the 2005-2006 SGA administration.
This year, however, there will be some significant changes to the procedures for tailgating. The most important change involving tailgating this year is location. Last year, tailgating occurred in an empty lot at the corner of Decatur Street and Piedmont Avenue.
The change is occurring due to the start of construction of the new Science Research Complex. This year, tailgating will occur across the street, on the patio of the Recreation Center. Due to this change, students will need to park in one of the Georgia State decks or other parking areas this year. Grilling and alcohol consumption (outside of beer kegs) are presumably still allowed this year, as both were allowed last year and no notification as to a change in procedure has been announced.
Students should look out for information around campus, though, on any official changes from SGA (as well as for the dates of the tailgates).
Mary McElroy, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, noted that she hopes more students will attend athletic events and other related activities, including tailgating, this year. She estimates that last year’s tailgating events had an average of twenty students per event, with the most appearing at a tailgate averaging fifty students.
McElroy contributes the relatively low numbers to the sport and season involving tailgates: basketball, which ends in the dead of winter.
SGA representatives were unable to make a comment before the publication deadline, but McElroy also stated that members of SGA, including President Joan Collier, were working hard to make the tailgating experience more exciting and enjoyable for students this year, even with the necessary move from the “Panther Pen” to the patio of the Recreation Center.
For more information, please contact the Georgia State University Athletic Department at (404) 651-2227 or the Student Government Association at (404) 463-9092.