Although Yalies encountered problems on the football field at this year’s Harvard-Yale game, they managed to steer clear of trouble at the tailgate.
Police officers issued only six infractions — none of which were alcohol-related or issued to Yale affiliates — at this year’s game, Yale Police Department spokesman Sgt. Steven Woznyk said. He said this number was considerably lower than in previous years, although he could not say specifically by how much.
Even though The Game drew a crowd over 57,000 — the largest attendance at a Harvard-Yale football matchup since 1989 — Woznyk said months of preparation helped keep problematic incidents to a minimum.
“If there was going to be a problem, this was the year it was going to happen,” he said. “And it didn’t.”
Each of the six citations, which were all recorded for public disturbance, carried a $103 fine, Woznyk said.
From Trooper 1 — the state police helicopter that patrolled the Yale Bowl from the skies — to the New Haven Police officers conducting traffic throughout the day, Woznyk said the crowds were “managed superbly by all departments.”
Woznyk said the efforts of The Game Committee, which included residential college masters, officials from the YPD, the Yale College Dean’s Office, the President’s Office and Athletics Department, helped pave the way to a smoothly run event. The University made a significant effort to disseminate information about tailgate drinking regulations at both Yale and at Harvard, Woznyk said.
Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry could not be reached for comment Monday night.
Although there had been some concern among students leading up to The Game that police officers would crack down on alcohol consumption, students interviewed said they felt they did not need to be secretive about consuming alcohol at the tailgate.
Nathan Roth ’09 said he did not have a problem drinking at The Game because he is of legal age. But he also said he did not see police actively enforcing laws against underage drinking.
“I didn’t really notice that anyone was on guard,” Roth said. “They all seemed pretty natural about it.”
Claire Wiley ’09, who attended her first Harvard-Yale tailgate at the Bowl this year, said she expected the atmosphere to be relaxed despite the presence of administrators at residential college tailgates. She said she saw one police officer stationed next to a U-Haul truck where a fraternity was serving alcohol.
“It seemed like that cop was just there in case someone got out of control,” Wiley said. “Other than that, I didn’t see any police around. But there were masters there and everything.”
At last year’s Game, Harvard instituted a policy that barred all alcohol and other liquids from being brought into the tailgate in Cambridge. Fewer than 10 students were forced to leave last year’s Harvard-Yale tailgate for underage drinking, smuggling alcohol or possessing false identification, Harvard Director of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services Ryan Travia told the News last fall.
Over 100 law enforcement officials from the YPD, NHPD, West Haven Police Department and the State Police Department policed The Game, Woznyk said.