AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – If you’re willing to dial down football tailgating, there are ways for Auburn fans and families to enjoy game day on Auburn University’s campus. Auburn University officials are clarifying how folks can gather Saturday on campus for AU football’s historic season opener against Kentucky.
Tailgating with tents, chairs, tables, TVs, satellite dishes, yard games, and other items is not allowed. However, AU families are welcome on campus. An AU spokesperson tells News 3 a family picnic on campus, like Samford Lawn, would not be against the rules on game day or any other day of the week.
The clarification may encourage families to pack a blanket, pick up a to-go order from a local restaurant, spread out a blanket, and listen to Andy Burcham call the game on the radio while social distancing from other fans on campus. This, as Auburn and Opelika tourism experts, hope fans will come to town to cheer on their tigers while supporting local businesses who are eager for an economic win in 2020.
“We want visitors to come that is our biggest message, please come to town, enjoy the atmosphere of game day. It’s going to look a little different. Everything is different in 2020. You may not be able to get into the stadium, and you may not be able to tailgate. But being here, there is no substitute for that,” shared Robyn Bridges, VP of Auburn-Opelika Tourism.
Fall football is ‘make or break’ for many local business owners. Now, during the COVID-19 economy, the stakes are historically high.
“Our restaurants, retailers, and hotels are struggling. Nothing like this has happened before. We want to encourage people if you feel safe to please come over. Because I fear some of these businesses won’t be here when you do get back,” shared Bridges.
Bridges says safety is a top priority and believes the Auburn family will support local businesses’ safety guidelines.
“People are so looking forward to a little bit of normalcy, and we want to invite people to come to down. There are hotel rooms available. Everyone is following rigorous safety protocols in place. They are going beyond what is required and doing anything humanly possible to make sure everyone is safe,” said Bridges.
Restaurants, and retailers are happy to bring a tailgate feel and tastes to you if you prefer to watch the game at home.
“All of our restaurants are doing curbside or delivery family meals, so support those businesses if you do tailgate in your yard or on your deck, ” said Bridges.
The Auburn City Council did designate an entertainment district, allowing fans to consume adult beverages while walking around parts of downtown.
Keep in mind masks are required on Auburn University’s campus at all times unless you are eating. In downtown Auburn, face covers are needed for indoors and outside when you can’t social distance.