By Briana Busby—
Tarleton State University is making extensive renovations to the football stadium and is extending it out into the P20 parking lot. With the construction comes more concerns about tailgating and what will become of it once construction is completed.
“The construction schedule calls for completing stadium renovations and expansion this coming fall. That includes the work that will affect the P20 parking area,” Harry Battson, assistant vice president for Marketing & Communications said.
Tailgating as well as the football games that are scheduled will be “held in the stadium as planned.”
“This project, when completed, will transform the game-day experience for Texan fans,” Battson continued. “The expanded seating, the improved amenities and the new turf and lighting will greatly contribute to Tarleton’s football program.”
Daron Trussell, director of Campus Recreation, is experiencing the same excitement as Battson towards the football stadium’s new makeover. “Tarleton was long overdue for a stadium renovation and this should only serve to increase our game day attendance at both Texan Alley and the football game,” Trussell said.
Tailgating has been a positive experience for many Texans and with the expansion of the football stadium, the hope is it will create an opportunity for many other groups to come together and have a good time.
“I think the best thing is the opportunity for so many different groups to come together and build new relationships. We have received more alumni interest in the last several years and it is always nice to see alumni building relationships with current students,” Trussell said.
Trussell also mentioned the support of the Tarleton Parents Association and cheer parents—usually at every tailgate and seen interacting with lots of Tarleton students.
“The Tarleton Parents Association has been a huge contributor feeding thousands of students and parents over the years. The cheer parents have been huge supporters for their students as well,” Trussell said.
“I think tailgating is great,” Sarah Naser, sophomore kinesiology major said. “I think it’s the hype before the game. Everyone is with their friends, eating good food, dressed with pride…so therefore I don’t think they should make it so serious and “protected” because then that takes the fun away.”
Trussell also said that the Texan Alley, “has done its best in order to maintain tailgating as well as making it more family-friendly and safe.”
“There are issues with this program just like any other program, we work through issues every year and try to enhance the experience,” Trussell said. “We are working on ideas for the future to make Texan Alley a more family-friendly environment to continue to attract more alumni and their families to the event. We are really striving to make Texan Alley an event where everyone has a place.”