ATHENS, Ga. — If fans attend a Georgia or Georgia Tech football game this season, they will have to find somewhere else to tailgate before the game.
Both athletic programs announced Tuesday that fans won’t be able to tailgate on campus.
Georgia Tech will have its first home game of the season Saturday against University of Central Florida. Georgia will be inside Sanford Stadium two weeks later for its home opener against rival Auburn.
“Through our continuing discussions with Institute leadership and with the health and safety of our entire community continuing to be our top priority, we have decided that it is in the best interests of our entire Georgia Tech family to not allow tailgating for Saturday’s opener against UCF,” director of athletics Todd Stansbury said. “This is not a decision that was made lightly. However, at this time, we feel that the safest course of action is to invite fans to come straight from their vehicles to Bobby Dodd Stadium, where we can better safeguard the health and safety of our students, staff and visitors through the protocols that we have in place designed to mitigate the risk of the transmission of Covid-19.”
“Tailgating has been a part of the gameday tradition for home football games at the University of Georgia for decades. However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, tailgating will not be permitted on campus this season,” Georgia athletics said in a statement. “UGA Athletics reached this decision in accordance with public health guidelines and counsel provided by our own UGA health officials. It is consistent with the approach taken by other SEC schools, including Alabama, Florida, LSU, Auburn and Ole Miss.”
While both schools said no tailgating in 2020, their definitions are a little different.
The Yellow Jackets said that chairs, coolers, grills and other traditional tailgate accessories will not be permitted outside of a person’s vehicle. No gatherings of any size will be allowed.
Georgia is allowing fans to gather by their vehicles with those they are going to the game with and haven’t said anything publicly about banning chairs, coolers and grills.
Normally parking lots open up in Athens at 7 a.m. regardless of kickoff time. This year, it’s just three hours before kickoff.
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