Georgia football redefines ‘tailgating’ for 2020, clarifies rules for ticket holders
ATHENS — Georgia football tailgating will be limited to fans with tickets and can take place in campus lots, per a release from the UGA Athletic Association.
“Tailgating has been a part of the gameday tradition for home football games at the University of Georgia for decades,” the release begins. “However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, tailgating will not be permitted on campus this season.”
The release goes on to say that “fans will be allowed to gather near their vehicle with family members or those with whom they traveled and plan to sit with in the stadium.”
Georgia opens the season at Arkansas on Sept. 26 before returning home to play host to Auburn on Oct. 3 at Sanford Stadium.
UGA athletics director Greg McGarity explained the spot the school is in this season, in terms of wanting to serve the Bulldogs’ fans, while also maintaining social responsibility.
“The health and welfare of everybody is a certainly a concern,” McGarity said. “But we’re trying to balance that against having a sense of normalcy.”
Clarke County has recently ranked among the “hottest” spots for COVID-19 in the nation.
UGA President Jere Morehead said that has more to do with local government policies and compliance than what is taking place on campus.
“We continue to see is the measures that we’ve taken on campus have worked,” Morehead said. “They work in my class. I have a mask on and everyone in my class has a mask on, and we’re all social distancing.
“Where it’s not working is downtown in the evenings. It’s not working at off-campus parties. Those are things beyond my control — they’re under the control of the Athens-Clarke County government.”
Here’s the statement from the UGA Athletic Association:
Tailgating has been a part of the gameday tradition for home football games at the University of Georgia for decades. However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, tailgating will not be permitted on campus this season.
UGA Athletics reached this decision in accordance with public health guidelines and counsel provided by our own UGA health officials. It is consistent with the approach taken by other SEC schools, including Alabama, Florida, LSU, Auburn and Ole Miss.
UGA Athletics realizes that fans will be traveling long distances to cheer on the Bulldogs. Therefore, fans will be allowed to gather near their vehicle with family members or those with whom they traveled and plan to sit with in the stadium. Please remember to maintain 6-feet social distancing and to wear masks when around others who are not part of your group. Parking lots on campus will open three hours before kick-off for each home game, and attendants will require all occupants in the vehicle to have tickets for the game.
While we strongly encourage individuals and organizations off campus to follow UGA’s lead in taking appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, enforcement of social gatherings off-campus remains under the jurisdiction of Athens-Clarke County.
UGA Athletics thanks fans in advance for adhering to these necessary, but regrettable, changes. We look forward to resuming our tradition of tailgating when it is safe to do so.
- UGA Athletic Association, 9-15-20