The University of Connecticut is tightening up its tailgating rules and warning students that bad behavior at Pratt & Whitney Stadium could mean the end of the student lot.
In a letter to students, Athletics Director David Benedict said that students must abide by the university’s tailgating policy, which details rules prohibiting hard alcohol, times tailgating is permitted, parking rules and other information.
School officials did not specify what problems they were seeing at the student lot.
Those who have tailgated there before said things can get unruly.
UConn Senior Andre Hristu said he checked out the student tailgating section before football games last year and it was not his thing.
“Too rowdy, too loud. I don’t really like it," he said.
After the lot was created at Rentschler Field in East Hartford three years ago, UConn said it’s getting tougher when it comes to the rules for students.
Among the additions this year:
- No hard alcohol, only beer and wine
- No large containers of liquids
- No standing in or on top of trucks and cars
“It’s a bunch of drunk people hanging out. I don’t know why the put restrictions on it. Because that’s the only reason people go to the football games. But I understand because of how people act after," said UConn junior Xela Laird.
Athletic Director David Benedict said while he understands tailgating is an important part of the gameday experience they need to ensure the health and safety of all students and fans.
In a letter to students, he wrote in part:
“Law enforcement will have a greater presence than in past years to ensure that the tailgating policies are followed and that unacceptable behavior is wiped out. The student lot was created three years ago with the hope that providing an exclusive lot for students would create more enthusiasm and camaraderie among the student body and I still think that can be realized,” he wrote. “However, if the student culture cannot adhere to the appropriate guidelines, the student tailgate lot privilege will be eliminated.”
Even with the changes, students were looking forward to the upcoming season, especially since now they just have to swipe their ID to get in for free.
“It’s pretty fun. You get to see a lot of people. The football team, it’s good to support them," said UConn junior Megan Sturm.
“The school pride for sure. Everyone is, it’s a community as soon as you get there. I’m really excited to see that," said junior Tessa Dipallina.
The home opener against Wagner is set for 7 p.m. Thursday.