Tailgaters express their opinions about the University’s new partnership

Grace Smith | Broadcast Reporter

The word “unloved” was used by a long-time Baylor tailgater when asked about the new partnership with Tailgate Guys.

In early February, Baylor Athletics sent out a press release announcing their new partnership with Tailgate Guys for the upcoming 2020 football season at McLane Stadium. The news of this collaboration was said to be “blindsiding” and left many fans unhappy and not knowing what to expect for next season. Some tailgaters even went as far as creating a, “Don’t Ruin Baylor Tailgating” petition and the number of signatures is rising.

“Tailgating is more than a game, it became an event,” Chris Carson, long-time Baylor tailgater said. Carson said. “It’s a great time to catch up with friends who come into town, seeing people who you haven’t seen in a while. That is the fun thing about tailgating, it’s more than the game.”

For many fans tailgating has become a lifestyle, starting back at Floyd Casey Stadium.

“We have been tailgating at McLane since it has started,” Carson said. “We tailgated over at Floyd Casey Stadium for many years before that.”

“When we first started in 1999, we were tailgating in the parking lot on asphalt,” Hobby Howell, Baylor tailgater said.

With this collaboration, fans can expect four reserved locations where they will be able to choose from a full range of premium pregame tailgate package options. Staring at $1,000 Tailgate Guys offer, bellhop services, loading and unloading assistance, coolers with ice, tents, tables, chairs, custom tailgate signage, and equipment clean up and breakdown.

Ever since the press release, the University has been receiving different feedback.

“It just feels like the school didn’t take into consideration what we wanted as fans and as tailgaters,” Carson said.

“Tailgate Guys bring a lot of good stuff for the people who want to use it,” Howell said. “They are really a turnkey operation, if you just want to show up and have everything there and everything done for you then I think it’s a really good deal. However, it does not fit our needs and what we have been doing forever.”

While some may disagree with this new partnership, the support for the University as a whole remands the same.

“This is Baylor’s area and their land, they are making what they believe is the best decision,” Howell said. “I am going to continue to support Baylor and love them just like I always have.”

Mack B. Rhoades, the Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics stated in the press release, “our partnership with Tailgate Guys is consistent with our goal of providing an elite, fan-friendly experience at all home events,” Rhoads said. “We intentionally selected Tailgate Guys as our partner, given their proven expertise in logistics, hospitality, and service. We feel confident in their ability to provide our most dedicated fans with a tailgate experience that is consistent with our standards across all athletics.”