The UTSA and San Antonio community are getting “rowdy!” UTSA’s first football season is fast approaching, and with it comes a classic college football tradition: tailgating.
Arguably, tailgating began during the Civil War. During the Battle of Bull Run in 1861 a group of Union supporters got together with their picnics and were yelling, “Go, Big Blue” to the troops. The first recorded instance of tailgating at a sporting event was a football contest between Rutgers and Princeton in 1869. The fans cheered on their teams and had a communal feast from the rear of their wagons, hence tailgating.
The first UTSA football tailgating event, “1st and Rowdy,” was held last fall on September 16th, 2010. Although a year in advance, the event nevertheless surpassed expectations in attendance, attracting more than 1,000 participants. More than 560 season tickets were sold that day, totaling $120,000. With so much Roadrunner spirit a year before the kickoff, expectations for this year are high.
The tradition doesn’t stop there. Many students are looking forward to the first games festivities “We will get to see the start of a whole tradition,” states Steve Pye, a junior majoring in business.
For each UTSA football game, historic Sunset Station, located just north of the Alamodome, will be temporarily renamed Roadrunner Station. There will be many activities including giveaways, food, live music and activities all in the spirit of roadrunner pride. Roadrunner station will be open before each game from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Also a feature of each roadrunner football game is Rowdy Town, located in the North Plaza outside of the Alamodome. Opening three hours before each home game, Rowdy Town presents entertainment for participants of all ages, such as a play area for young roadrunners, an official tailgate party, and live music.
Shuttles are available to transport students from UTSA to the Alamodome to participate in Roadrunner Station and Rowdy Town on game days, allowing residential UTSA students to participate in the fun.
UTSA seems to be buzzing with football fever. “I really can’t explain it. I just like watching football. I get really excited about rooting for a team that I like,” states Marco Gorena, a junior art major.
Festive tailgating events will further serve to gather diverse groups of people together and amplify the roadrunner morale.
Football is wellknown as an integral part of life in many colleges across the nation, rallying students of all interests and people from all walks of life together. In less than a week, UTSA will finally have a share in this spirit and unity, and the students, faculty, and community could not be more excited.
The beauty of tailgating is the presence of school spirit that is palpable as you walk to the stadium; as well as the smell of hamburgers and the sizzle of bratwurst on the grill. There will be impromptu reenactments of great college plays in the lanes of the parking lot and debates over the quality of the BCS or why we should have a playoff system. Then you realize that you have to rush to the stadium so you can watch the game, which is why you came anyway. Right?