What You Need To Know About The New Tailgate Policy


What You Need To Know About The New Tailgate Policy

Let’s get this party started…an hour earlier!

In case you haven’t heard, tailgating at the Wells Fargo Center has been extended to three hours before the start of basketball games, rather than the conventional two. The policy change was released in an email before the Jan. 27 game against Seton Hall. Nova went on to crush the Pirates 80-52 at Wells Fargo. Coincidence?!…Probably.

However, in this writer’s opinion, the policy change evidences a promising shift in attitude away from unrealistic condemnation of underage drinking and toward safety and good fun. As every sports fan knows, the social element of a tailgate constitutes a large percentage of most fans’ enjoyment of a game. The party transitions a solitary basketball game into a day-long festivity and allows students and alumni alike the opportunity to spend time together and get excited. There’s no need to mince words: alcohol is often involved. Realistically, drinking is an element of a tailgate that would be almost impossible to completely eradicate, and venues would likely receive formidable pushback for trying. With this in view, the impact of an extended tailgating window becomes evident. 

Villanova’s basketball is a long and cherished tradition for the University—tailgates and “pregames” included—and, before the institution of this policy, many students were unwilling to sacrifice the full-day experience for the sake of participating only in a two-hour tailgate. Students often drink before arriving at the Wells Fargo Center, and some then must reckon with public transportation on their way to the game. Even for those who confine their celebration to the two hours allotted by the Center, transport from Philadelphia when the game is over could be perilous without enough time to recover—particularly for alumni or non-student fans, who do not share the relatively secure option of a school-bus ride back to campus.  Despite this new leniency, it is critical that fans and students alike abstain from or limit their consumption of alcohol if they know that they will be driving after the game.  It is safer for everyone.

Villanova’s school spirit and enthusiasm before basketball games is nothing to be ashamed of, and with the new tailgating policy for Wells Fargo games, any alcohol involved in this process can be consumed more safely and responsibly than ever. In conjunction with the University’s new alcohol policy for the 2018-2019 school year, it is clear that attitudes towards alcohol are changing for the better, finally prioritizing safety over impractical, blanket condemnation.  Finally, a policy for the times.