Athletics announces new Tailgate Central

The new Tailgate Central will feature live music, Bobcat Charge and more aimed to give Texas State tailgating a new feel. Photo courtesy of Texas State Athletics.

The new Tailgate Central will feature live music, Bobcat Charge and more aimed to give Texas State tailgating a new feel. Photo courtesy of Texas State Athletics.

Colton McWilliams, Sports Reporter

Texas State Athletics announced a major shakeup to the tailgating scene as the season draws near. The new plan includes a change in tailgating setup by creating a more cohesive, central area aptly named Tailgate Central.

“The concept of this area is to bring all Bobcat fans together into a great tailgating atmosphere.” Texas State’s athletic department said in a video. “Each game will have musical entertainment and bands on our main stage for all fans to enjoy.”

Tailgate Central will be located on the east parking lot of Bobcat Stadium and will feature all types of fans including student organizations, vendors, Bobcat Club, an RV Park, the “T” Association Athletic Alumni Tailgate, the Alumni Association Katze Beer Garden and its most important community, the public.

The main feature of Tailgate Central has been dubbed Bobcat Boulevard, in which sponsors of the athletic department including Coca-Cola, H-E-B and Brown Distributing host games and giveaways. In addition, live music featuring local artists will be a part of every game.

Bobcat Boulevard will also be the location of the Cat Walk and Bobcat Charge. Bobcat Charge, which consists of a parade for the Texas State Strutters, cheerleaders and marching band, has been an unofficial Bobcat tradition that will hopefully soon be recognized as official.

Cat Walk is a relatively new tradition that will allow fans to see Texas State football walk live down Bobcat Boulevard two-and-a-half hours before kickoff, while Bobcat Charge will serve as a signal for Bobcats to fill the stadium an hour before the game.

Additional tailgating spots will be located on the grass lots in front of Strahan Coliseum and a portion of the Spring Lake Field. No vehicles will be allowed here, but fans will be allowed to set up tents, tables and chairs. It is encouraged that fans don’t pollute the area with leftover trash and tailgate paraphernalia.

New parking spots will also be available. Along with parking on Mill Street and Thorpe Lane, Bobcat fans can now park in Lot 5 and the University Events Center parking lot.

Fan reaction has been mostly positive, but one issue among tailgaters has been creating problems.

The creation of a six-hour time limit on tailgating has created a rift among Texas State tailgaters. A petition, created by username “Fire This” at Change.org, has been put in place to stop the time limit.

“Overbearing rules and regulations including a 6 hour before kick off-limit have effectively killed the game-day experience for fans,” the petition says. “Limiting the time allotted for tailgate forces alumni and fans, especially those traveling long distances (Dallas and Houston). In the past, fans have decided to forgo their own set up due to these restrictions which limits fan experience, engagement, and attendance at games.”

Though the six-hour time limit has some Bobcat fans miffed, the new tailgate setup hopes to settle previous problems without creating too many restrictions.

For those interested in participating in Tailgate Central, the athletic department can provide anyone with tents and others in Tent Village on the west side of the stadium starting at $600.

The new tailgate will kick into action as the Bobcats battle Wyoming in Bobcat Stadium on Saturday, September 7.

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