Citing increased accidents and injuries on college campuses, Texas A&M University added new rules Thursday to the university's tailgating regulations.
Among them: extending the alcohol-free zone around Kyle Field and tighter restrictions on tailgate party setup times.
The complete list of rules is as follows:
* In Spence Park, site setup may begin at noon on the day immediately preceding a home football game.
* Tailgate sites in Spence Park may not be occupied between midnight and 5 a.m. on the night before a home game.
* Trailers, barbecue rigs on trailers, or generators will not be allowed in Spence Park.
* Tailgate supplies must be carried into Spence Park by hand. Supplies may be off-loaded in designated zones. Access to Spence Park from Houston Street will close four hours prior to game time.
* The alcohol-free zone is extended to include the Fan Zone and all sidewalks adjacent to Kyle Field.
A&M Interim President Eddie Davis released a joint statement with Director of Athletics Bill Byrne regarding the updated policy.
“Football season brings tens of thousands of former students and other visitors to campus each fall. The safety of our visitors is our top priority, just as the safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority throughout the entire year.
“An increase in tailgating-related accidents and injuries at colleges and universities around the nation has prompted officials to redouble efforts to ensure safety. While no major tailgating accidents have occurred at Texas A&M, we are taking proactive measures to protect the safety and well-being of our fans and visitors.
“The growing popularity of tailgating in recent years has brought us challenges, including inadequate restroom facilities, damage to University property, building security, and excessive alcohol consumption. In response, last fall we distributed flyers with suggestions about responsible tailgating, rented more portable restrooms and surveyed tailgaters to find out how their experience could be improved.
“We also created an advisory group comprised of representatives from the University administration, the Athletic Department, the 12th Man Foundation, The Association of Former Students and several individuals who responded to the survey to give us a detailed report on the survey results and make recommendations. The group’s recommendations, which we fully endorse, have already been adopted:
“We also have launched a tailgating management plan on key issues such as space allotments and parking. Steve Hodge, director of special events facilities, will oversee implementation of the plan.
“Our new tailgating website (http://tailgating.tamu.edu) provides more information about the new guidelines and related issues. Please bookmark the site, which will be updated frequently with new information about traffic, parking and tailgating in general.
“Gameday at Kyle Field has been known for generations as a unique showcase of Aggie pride and loyalty. We appreciate your help in ensuring that gameday continues to be a safe experience as well as an unforgettable one for everyone who participates.”
The new tailgating rules take effect this fall. A link to the A&M tailgating website is below.