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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


How much does tailgating cost?

Valentina Martinelli/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Valentina Martinelli
Valentina Martinelli/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Tailgating is more than drinking and cheering: UA Athletics organizes it, and UA facilities management cleans it all up.


Before the game

“”Athletics is in charge of all tailgating from the ILC (Manuel E. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center) to Campbell Ave.,”” said Janessa Cummings, marketing associate and tailgating coordinator for Arizona Athletics.

Single game tickets, season tailgate passes and tents for large groups and commercial vendors are all part of tailgating.

Any student can purchase a pass 10 days before a game, costing up to $100 depending on the scheduled game for that day. However, groups of 100 or more can rent tent spaces, akin to the ones for big-ticket games like homecoming, starting at $1,650.

The north side of the Jim Click Hall of Champions, the lawn in front of the Ina A. Gittings dance building, and east and west of Cherry Avenue on the center portion of the UA Mall are all areas reserved for tailgating.

“”We have about 100 RVs (for the season) parked down the center mall and about 150 cars (for the season) parked on the McKale Lawn and Gittings Lawn,”” Cummings said.


After the game

“”We transform it from a big party atmosphere on Saturday, and then we have the place looking spotless when everyone comes back Monday morning,”” said Christopher Kopach, director of facilities management.

The cost incurred by facilities management for the cleanup of tailgating throughout the entire season in 2009 — where over 315,000 people attended home football games — was $116,000.

It cost 69 cents a person with those numbers – and Kopach, along with facilities management, is looking for even more ways to make the process more efficient.

“”We try to be a little more cost effective and efficient (each year),”” Kopach said. “”We want to reduce the number of trips and the number of hours. We break it down to the cents per fan. We try to get really efficient with our staffing.””

A 30-person crew works from 6 a.m. until 2:30 in the afternoon, with help from members of ROTC looking for leadership and community service opportunities in the university community, working together as a team to quickly refurbish the grounds.

“”We are going to try and do this this year, as we get more sustainable. We are really going to be posting a lot more recycling containers out there, whether it is a big blue bin or those boxes that say recycle,”” Kopach said of initiatives to keep the UA Mall clean. “”And if you see a trash can, put your trash in there,”” he added as a final note.

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