One of the biggest sticking points regarding gameday experience has been the options for tailgating. Apparently Boston College has kind of, sort of listened to you as they sent out a press release today offering new tailgating options for the upcoming season:
The change is the result of a partnership with the campus and community in response to fan feedback regarding the need for more open-air tailgating spaces. The addition is one of several initiatives taken to enhance the gameday atmosphere at BC football games.
Tailgating sections of Upper Brighton will operate as a reserved lot, with donors assigned to a numbered space that will remain constant throughout the season. Donors selecting Upper Brighton reserved will have the opportunity to select a block if they wish to park with family/friends. The anticipated minimum for this lot is $2,500 and $1,250 for GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade).
BC is going to use Brighton for tailgating, which may signal the first death knell for Shea Field as they transition it for other uses. Is this a move to transition those fans who want open air tailgating off of Shea and onto Brighton? On one hand it's a great option to get more tailgating for BC fans, especially those who like to BBQ and utilize the open air. Glad BC listened to fans on that part.
On the other hand, to tailgate basically off campus, you have to dish out the financial equivalent of the cost of a small vacation. Let's play a little math game. The estimated cost of $2500 for seven games, two of which are against FCS cream puffs. So if you go to all seven games that's about $375 a game, or $500 if you do what most BC fans do and skip Maine/Howard. Or if you want to break it down you get four hours of tailgating a game, again times seven games, so you are roughly paying $100 an hour to tailgate off campus at Boston College. Who in their right mind can a) afford that b) would want to pay that kind of money? BC puts on their press release that this was in "response to fan feedback", but they conveniently forgot the fan feedback that tailgating is too expensive? And where are the single game tailgating options?
Tailgating isn't just about drinking and eating, it's about meeting up with friends, talking about BC football and having a good time during the fall. It's an integral part of the college football experience, something basically every other college fan takes for granted. Yet again BC makes a move for those fans who can drop a couple thousand dollars to tailgate at Boston College football games, it's a move that basically alienates the common fan and alumni who can't drop half a mortgage payment on a 7-5 college football team. Until BC addresses that, parking lots are going to remain half empty, many fans are going to continue to stay away because they can't afford it, and the true potential for the growth of a great program won't be realized.