Student tailgating takes off

The new student tailgating lot may help foster a new football culture.

The 2013 Gophers football season kicked off last week with a near-annihilation of Nevada-Las Vegas. Now University of Minnesota students have something else to celebrate: a reserved student tailgating lot at TCF Bank Stadium.

Various athletics directors and Gophers football coaches over the years have been working hard to cultivate a more lively college football culture here at the University. If utilized appropriately and respectfully, we hope the student tailgating lot will encourage more students to cheer on their team come game day.

The Minnesota Daily reported Tuesday that 80 out of 90 season tailgating lot passes had been sold as of last Friday. While there was a somewhat disappointing tailgating turnout before the game against UNLV, it is possible that students hadn’t heard about the lot yet or simply weren’t back on campus.

Though the student tailgating lot comes with the same restrictions as other designated tailgating lots on campus — including wristbands for fans 21 or older who wish to consume alcohol, regulations prohibiting drinking game accessories, hard alcohol and large containers of any kind of alcohol — the lot still offers a unique way for students to participate in what is hopefully a growing Gophers fandom and culture. Any student is welcome to enter the lot, although only football season ticket holders are allowed to purchase designated parking space passes.

With recent history revealing several less-than-stellar Gophers football seasons, and competition from other professional sports organizations in the Twin Cities, it’s not hard to notice that the University struggles with student involvement in its football program.

But coach Jerry Kill has been saying for a while that he wants to make Gophers football the most important event on Saturdays this fall. And with a new tailgating lot of our own this season, how many more reasons can we find to shoot down his request?