As the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football team gets ready for its season opener against Boise State this Saturday, fans are getting ready for the first tailgate of the season.

But with construction going on at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field and the recent heavy rains, some changes have had to be made.

Bottom line is this, if you have a tailgating spot, you need to set up on Friday.

Below is the complete statement from John Dugas, Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations.

John will be our guest on Bird's Eye View Wednesday at 3pm to explain things further.

Cajun Field tailgating has come a long way since things started 31 years ago under the big oak tree. There are now have 486 reserved tailgating and RV spots. As we grow, changes in policy and rules are necessary to maintain a safe, family-friendly environment.

 

For years, vehicular traffic has been monitored in areas reserved for tailgating. During that time, traffic accidents and equipment damage have occurred, and pedestrians have been hit by cars. It has reached the point where a change in policy is necessary.

 

Effective immediately, parking in the tailgating areas at Cajun Field will be allowed only during setup times. Setup will begin at 2:00 p.m. the day before home games and will end six hours prior to kickoff for games after 1:00 p.m. No cars will be allowed in tailgating areas on days where kickoff is prior to 1:00 p.m.

 

Parking in tailgating areas will be strictly prohibited with violators being ticketed. Fans will have ample time to access the tailgating areas with their TG pass for setup, but will have to park their vehicle in either the appropriate RCAF parking lot or a general admission parking lot adjacent to Cajun Field.

 

Recent weather events and current facility improvements have impacted our tailgating areas causing temporary restrictions in the tailgating areas.

 

As you are probably aware, the grass tailgating areas are saturated right now due to record amounts of rainfall in the last month.  The near constant renovation construction that began with Cajun Field seating improvements in 2014 and has transitioned recently to the renovation of the "Tigue", is also challenging the condition of our tailgating area.

 

In addition, the construction of the Student-Athlete Performance Center, and the Soccer/Track Facility, necessitated a major infrastructure upgrade than ran through the middle of the main tailgating lot. All of these projects, and the large equipment and heavy trucks that come along with construction, have caused drainage issues in some Tailgate areas. The construction, along with the record rainfall, has compounded the problem and delayed scheduled work in these lots. The Department has done more work this past year to fix this issue than has been done in the previous thirty. It is not as simple as just adding dirt or limestone to low areas, as that just creates new low areas.

 

A contractor is now working in the lot, and is confident things can be ready for opening day. However, in order to maintain our tailgating area and keep it in the best possible condition for our fans, a couple of changes are being instituted:

 

  • Foot Traffic Only. With the levels of rain received in the past two weeks and with more forecast over the coming weeks, the tailgating areas will not be able to handle any vehicle traffic. In the past, we have allowed small recreational vehicles to park in grass areas, but until the lots dry out and can be further assessed, we are asking that all vehicles stay out of tailgating spots.
  • Use Marked Driveways Only.  Vehicles will need to use access lanes and paved parking areas on the perimeter of the lots for access when setting up. Any vehicular traffic in tailgating spots will make this situation worse and cause further damage.
  • For game one, RV’s will be allowed only in the paved RV lot and in the 200 limestone tailgating area. Spot holders in the 100 and 300 areas that have parked RV’s in their spots will not be able to do so until the areas has dried and is able to handle heavy vehicle traffic. We have allowed RV’s in these areas in the past, weather permitting, but we do not sell it or guarantee it as an RV spot. RV’s will not be allowed to park in any RCAF lots.
  • Athletics will assess the tailgating areas following game one and advise fans once conditions are favorable to allow cars in tailgating areas for setup.

We encourage fans to set up the day before games. For those unable to complete set up prior to game day, parking is available in the adjacent RCAF lots and tailgating spots will be accessible by foot. Temporary loading zones have been created to assist fans in setting up on game day. Please refer to the attached map for locations. Guests of reserved tailgaters must park in RCAF lots with the appropriate pass (A, B, C or D) or in general parking. It is the responsibility of the reserved tailgating holders to notify guests.

 

Don't forget to check Game Day Central for road closure times specific to each game.

 

If you have an questions about tailgating, please contact us at louisianatailgating@louisiana.edu