Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sustainable, Bicycle Tailgating

Tailgating, though fun, is an awful mess to clean up. Collegiate, Pro and even all-day amature events can produce a lot of garbage...and traffic. If you have ever been in the Upstate on Gameday (Saturday afternoon for you non-Clemson University fans), you have been a part of the crowds and have seen all of the activity big sporting events like college football games can produce. They are fun - but, oh, the chaos!

Recently, there has been an interest in developing "sustainable tailgating," also known as "leave no trace" or "pack in and pack out" tailgating facilities at Clemson University. The idea comes from trying to green the campus and make the facilities more environmentally-friendly.

Though just in the brainstorming stages, there is interest and buy in from students at Clemson as well as administrators. Some of the ideas include:

  • Providing premium parking or tailgating facilities for cyclists. If you chose to ride to Death Valley, or use some sort of bike/bus combination (tip of the hat to the CAT Transit System), you would be able to tailgate at a reserved location.
  • Minimal electricity. There is some talk about having this be a "Plasma TV Free" zone. If you wanted to set up camp at the sustainable tailgating location, there wouldn't be electricity hookups. This is a nod to reducing energy usage on campus.
  • Tailgating in a park-like setting. There's something fun - almost novel - in setting up your tailgating party in the parking lot. Mom's sandwiches just taste better when you're sitting outside the stadium! But what if there was tailgating in a park like setting? If you're a cyclist, and you have your tailgating stuff with you, it's not like you have a trunk to sit in. Providing benches or other semi-permanent community-friendly structures would provide places for cyclists to enjoy their tailgating experience along with others.

I think it sounds like a great idea, and I'm interested to see if and how this develops! If you know someone at Clemson University, specifically those involved with the sustainable development or healthy campus iniatives, mention that you think this would be a great, unique and good idea to support.


  1. Great idea. I just want our family to bike to a game (no tailgating necessary), but the lack of stadium-area bike racks (or other monitored bike parking spaces) makes it look unlikely. So the notion of setting up a biker/walker shaded sitting area for a picnic, with nearby monitored bike racks (there are a lot of cops on Gameday) would be a wonderful improvement.

  2. Great to hear that you (and your family) are interested. I know of another family that feels the same way - and they're going to try it at a Clemson University Football game. Maybe this could become a unique Clemson GAME DAY tradition.