Tailgate FAQs


If I plan to bring a pop-up tent, do I need to reserve a tailgating space?

Yes, tents will be in the tailgating area only. They are not allowed in the parking lots or other areas. However, tailgating at your vehicle or on the grass is allowed with no tent being used.


Is this going to be the format and system for future years?

How the tailgating experience will be offered in future years will depend on the success of this year’s changes. However, some changes have to go forward in order to preserve the safety and security of one of Winthrop’s most popular traditions.


I’ve always enjoyed tailgating. Why are these changes necessary?

As the crowd size has grown in recent years, the need for a better parking and tailgating system became apparent. Ultimately, the changes being implemented will ensure a safer environment where first responders and police can address situations as they arise, provide options for groups and families to choose how and where they want to tailgate, and ensure a more enjoyable experience for all.


I understand making alumni and the community pay, but does this apply to students? What about walk-ups?

Every vehicle entering the Coliseum area will be subject to the parking fee, including those of students. However, walk ups will not pay, as they are not parking a vehicle.


Will there be buses to transport students to tailgating from the campus?

Yes, the “Screaming Eagle” bus will pick up students at the regular locations on campus beginning an hour before game tip-off, while the new My Ride buses will be running throughout the day, with a stop at the coliseum. 


Can I set up my tent in the North or South parking lot as I have in the past?

No. Tents are not allowed in the North and South lots or any of the grass lots. Tents are only allowed in the designated tailgating area. See the map here.


Can I set up my tent or tailgate on Friday night?

No. Tailgating begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday and continues until 3:30 p.m.


Why do I have to pay for parking? Where will the money go?

The $5 nominal fee for parking will help offset the cost of additional event staff, police presence and amenities to ensure a better event experience for all.


Where can I buy food at the tailgate?

The Alumni Association will have Roman’s All-Star food truck if alumni or students want to purchase food on site. Otherwise, you must bring your own food, as all other cash transactions are prohibited due to the university’s contract with Sodexo.


Will you consider a later time to end tailgating?

For fall 2019 tailgating, activities are expected to end at 3:30 pm. The end time for future tailgating will depend upon the success of this year’s end time/clean up requirements.


What can I expect as tailgating wraps up?

EventPro staff and university staff will sweep through the tailgating areas beginning at 3:30 p.m. and again at 3:45 p.m. to make sure guests are cleaning up and preparing to vacate, if they have not done so already. At 4 p.m. Winthrop Police and university staff will make a final sweep; all guests should have vacated the tailgating area by this time. 


Why did you choose this area for tailgating?

This area provides a mix of parking lot and grass spaces, is easy to reach, and can be expanded. It also is within easy walking distance of other parking lots and the coliseum. The one area where tailgating was most densely populated in recent years was an area of 0.8 acres. The new tailgating area is approximately 3 acres.


Will students and alumni be invited to the table for more feedback?

The homecoming committee will be soliciting feedback on the event from a variety of participants. A Tailgating Town Hall Debriefing will be offered after the event.


I want to use other lake-area facilities that day. Will I be able to?

No. The loop around the lake area will be closed, as will the golf course and disc golf course. 


I remember the traffic backups when Winthrop tried paid parking at another basketball game a while back. What’s going to be different this time?

More event staff will be available to serve the large crowd that is expected. However, Winthrop fans should plan to allow plenty of time for parking and entering the arena if they are not attending tailgating.


Where can I dispose of my trash?

There will be a number of small dumpsters strategically placed throughout the parking and tailgating areas for trash disposal, as well as smaller receptacles for trash and recycling.


How is alcohol consumption going to be monitored?

Campus and other police officers will be patrolling the parking and tailgating areas. The consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages by underage persons is prohibited, as are any violations of federal, state or local law. Please see the alcoholic beverage policy for details. Glass containers, kegs and common containers are prohibited per the tailgating policy.


What if I have a problem while I’m tailgating?

Visit the information tent where attendees can request assistance relating to parking, tailgating, group or individual behavior, etc.


Please send additional questions to: tailgate@winthrop.edu