Editorials, Opinions

BC Football Tailgating Survives Shea’s Decline

This past Saturday, both Boston College’s home football games and tailgating opportunities came to a close for the year. This past fall has seen even further restrictions placed on Shea Field—historically the most heavily lauded and packed tailgating spot—essentially reducing the space down to just major donors and their guests, all of which added up to only 20 people per car. Current students, young alumni, visiting fans, and anyone else who could not acquire a coveted ticket onto Shea didn’t give up the pre-game tradition, but instead fanned out to the Mod Lot, Mods, parking garage, and Brighton Campus—areas in which tailgating accommodations were provided and encouraged.

The restrictions on Shea, which have developed over the past two years, were originally associated with a myriad of issues: underage drinking, community complaints, and the need to constantly secure a permit from the City of Boston for the space. Even though this year showed that tailgating was effectively killed on Shea, tailgating persisted. Brighton Campus, especially, served as an excellent tailgating spot. Located in the woods across Commonwealth Ave., away from direct community interference, Brighton Campus’s spot is larger than the baseball field, and with fewer restrictions on entrances and exits. The Mods, Mod Lot, and parking garage handled the rest of the overflow. The festive game day atmosphere spread out instead of being singularly focused on a strictly ticketed area. It shows that even in a relatively urban environment without immense open spaces to accommodate tailgaters, there are still good options for fans, options which BC will offer.

While Shea Field no longer has its thriving, college atmosphere, it is significantly safer and can be a good option for the major donors to the Flynn Fund. The energy, however, belongs to the new areas with younger alumni, and an integration of the old with the new could present a significant challenge with upcoming football seasons.

But, this is a small point for what has, overall, been a different but successful year for BC tailgating. It is important that procedures that slowly killed the Shea atmosphere (ticketing, restricting the number of people in each tailgating spot) are not implemented in these new areas. The establishment of new traditions will take time—those who had to move were unhappy enough, and will be even more so if they have to move annually. To continue bringing financial donations and support to the athletic program, as well as a positive atmosphere to the home football games, the success of the new tailgating spots relies on policies which encourage a thriving, inclusive environment.

Featured Image by Graham Beck / Heights Photo Staff

November 9, 2015