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Help us write a history of Aggie tailgating

Susan "Sue" Owen '94 May 3, 2024 2:37 PM updated: June 10, 2024 4:32 PM

When did Texas Aggies start tailgating?

It appears that tailgating or picnics at Texas A&M go back at least to the 1960s, picked up popularity in the 1980s, followed by an increase in the late 1990s, and got a big boost in 2012 when Texas A&M joined the SEC.

Does that match up with Aggies' experience? Let us know! 

Do you have great tailgating stories from any era? We want to hear those, too. Tag your friends!

Please visit tx.ag/TailgateStories to share your tales and photos!

They could be used in future publications by The Association of Former Students, which proudly supports many parts of the Aggie gameday experience.

Here's a timeline of what we think we know so far. Additional information is very welcome!

  • Early tailgates or gameday picnics at Texas A&M are attested at least back to the 1960s, but it appears these weren’t widespread on campus.
  • Early 1980s: As tailgating for sports increases in popularity nationwide, Texas A&M former students begin grilling steaks and barbecuing from parked cars and motor homes parked on campus, particularly in lots near Rudder and Kyle.
  • 1982: Olsen Park built near the baseball field to house tailgaters’ RVs.
  • 1988 Battalion story about tailgating says consumption of alcohol is prohibited on campus.
  • Big gap here in timeline so far! We welcome information about the Aggie tailgating scene in this period (as well as others).
  • 1998: Texas A&M policy adopted to allow possession or use of alcohol at tailgates in "university designated parking areas only.”
  • 1998 Batt story says “for several years” alcohol has been permitted at tailgates under certain conditions: during an NCAA athletic event, only in designated parking lots, and participants must be of legal drinking age.
  • 1999 Batt story says tailgating activity is increasing.
  • 1999 Batt story talks about student tailgating as commonplace.
  • 2001 Batt story describes people tailgating all over campus by parking their cars in a good spot the night before, and by students finding grassy locations.
  • 2003: Alcohol/tailgate policy revised to allow alcohol on the day of an NCAA sports event, on gameday and in proximity to the event, in outdoor areas or parking areas approved by a university official. 
  • Late 2000s: Slightly different rules are adopted for different kinds of tailgating in west campus, Duncan drill field and the area now called Aggie Park, with trailer-mounted barbecue grills and generators barred at the latter.
  • 2012: First year in SEC sees growth in tailgating. 
  • 2017: New “quiet” generators allow reintroduction of generators into future area of Aggie Park.
  • 2018: Bathrooms in Reed, Blue Bell and Davis Diamond opened for tailgaters’ use.
  • 2022: Aggie Park opens.


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