Hundreds of tailgaters park early for the Iron Bowl - WRBL

Hundreds of tailgaters park early for the Iron Bowl

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Tony Wright patrols the campground Tony Wright patrols the campground
AUBURN, Ala. -

Hundreds of RV's are already filling Auburn's campus for the Iron Bowl on Saturday.

Normally tailgaters aren't allowed to stake their claim for games until Thursday. This is the second time Auburn University officials have changed the rule for the Iron Bowl, and many are taking advantage.

The university let fans in to park on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. After that they had to lock up and leave.

Tony Wright has taken it upon himself to be the unofficial security guard for one of the lots. He pulled up to wait in line last Thursday and was the third one in. Now he's making sure no one else breaks the rules.

"I've caught people trying to bring RV's in," he says. "I've caught a couple guys trying to bring them in. I told them they couldn't do it! They said, 'yeah,' and I started picking up the phone, and they left."

Auburn police and fire officials have been patrolling but can't catch everyone sneaking through the barricades. Wright has traveled back and forth from Chambers County, Ala. to make rounds of his own.

"I was trying to save these other spots for cars for other people," says Wright. "These other people come in who are not supposed to be here, and they came in Sunday 24 hours late, but anyway, that's the reason somebody has to stay around."

Almost all the campers that made it early have signs of being Auburn fans. Wright says Alabama's supporters are late for the party since they had a game over the weekend and Auburn had a bye week. He expects the number of tailgaters to at least triple by the weekend.

He says, "Both teams are ranked inside the top 5, not the top 10, but the top 5 in the nation. It's a lot riding on this game, the national championship, and it's pride also."

Auburn officials say they allowed the early parking so people could be with their families on Thanksgiving instead of fighting for spaces.

If you missed Saturday's opening, the parking lots will re-open Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. Central time.

If you can't make it out to Auburn, you can watch the big game on News Three Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern, 2:30 Central time.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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