A new game day experience
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
In hopes of creating a better game day experience and in an attempt to restore the decreased fan attendance since the tailgating changes made after 2010, UTEP modified their rules for the highly anticipated matchup against ranked opponent Oklahoma Sept. 1 and beyond.
“The experience tailgating this year was a lot of fun. My friends and I were just hanging out by the Magoffin Auditorium, drinking and then we went to the game,” said Ivy Herrera, junior health promotion major. “This tailgate was kind of a big deal because we were playing Oklahoma and of course it was the first game of the season. You could tell everyone was pumped and excited for it. After I went to the Cincinnati block party, but there were a lot of Oklahoma fans.”
With an addition of the Game Day Zone located at the center of campus, fans have something to look forward to that was not a part of the tailgating experience from last year.
The set up includes games for children, live music and other forms of entertainment for students, alumni and the casual fan.
With some of the leniency restored for tailgaters, most fans agreed that tailgating seems to be headed in the direction of what it once used to be.
For seniors Jerry Rodriguez and Bryan Mata, both lower division mechanical engineering majors, the new rules add excitement to the game day experience.
“I agree that they needed to do something to bring back tailgating on campus. Especially since tailgating is part of the game to us football fans,” Rodriguez said. “I remember the game against the Longhorns a few years back. Now that was the best tailgating inside the campus anyone has ever seen. That was tailgating.”
The tailgate seemed to be a success with all the fans in attendance on the inside of campus. Some of these tailgaters were even generous enough to offer some chicken.
“I am having a great time here,” Mata said. “All my friends are here along with some beer and food. There is nothing better than tailgating like this waiting for the season opener.”
Some of the tailgaters were giving their predictions to the final score of the game for the opening game against the Sooners Sept. 1.
“Everyone here doesn’t seem to think we even stand a chance against Oklahoma. I’m not sure if I do either, but I don’t want to hear that,” Rodriguez said prior to the game against Oklahoma. “I’m hoping that home field advantage will play a big part in this game and that we can hang in there with a ranked Oklahoma team.”
The Miners came close, keeping the score within three points to begin the fourth quarter, until the Sooners pulled away to eventually win 24-7.
Nonetheless, students enjoyed the return of tailgating to the UTEP campus, taking advantage of the new rules.
“It was a lot of fun. We actually did a tailgate before the game and after the game so we just hung out with family and friends. We cooked steak and burgers and some of my family members drank, I am not old enough to drink,” said Vivian Mora, freshman forensic science major. “It was very peaceful, we were right in outside of the Sun Bowl. Right after the game my family was a little buzzed so we came out and grilled some more and we hung out there probably until one in the morning.”
Frankie Rodriguez may be reached at email@example.com.