On Monday, Harvard administrators released official regulationsfor tailgating at the Yale-Harvard football game Nov. 20 in Cambridge.
Harvard has bannedliquor, kegs and drinking paraphernalia from the game’s tailgate. Drinking games that promote “rapid consumption of alcohol” and commercial vehicles such as U-Haul trucks are also prohibited. The rules also dictate a two-hourwindowduring which students may tailgate, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and ending before kickoff at 12:00 p.m.
“Harvard University is a great place to tailgate before a College football game,” administrators wrote in the document, titled “Rules of the Game.” “However, tailgating rules are strictly enforced.”
Tailgaters at last year’s game, hosted at Yale, were bound by fewer regulations. By contrast with Harvard’s policies, fans could tailgate at the Yale Bowl through halftime andU-Hauls were permitted, in which some students set up televisions and video game and sound systems. Still, drinking games,alcohol paraphernaliaand cars over 16feet long were officially banned at the Game at Yale last year, as they are at Harvard this year. .
Sam Hafer ’11, who has attended the past two Harvard-Yale games, complained about Harvard’s tailgating regulations at the 2008 Game, specifically the stipulation that tailgating end before kickoff.
“That sucked,” he said. “We all wanted to have fun, but they stopped us right before the game started.”
Harvard Stadium falls under city jurisdiction. Harvard must comply with the city of Boston’s tailgating statutes, which are distinct from New Haven’s, said Marichal Gentry, dean of student affairs, last October.
Both Harvard and Yale’s regulations state that tailgaters must comply with state drinking laws. Harvard’s regulations dictate that event staff check identification of students who wish to drink and distribute special wristbands to those who are over 21. While the regulations say that alcohol and outside containers will not be allowed into the stadium, three students interviewed say they plan to use flasks to transport alcohol into Harvard Stadium.
“Underclassmen find ways to get alcohol,” Hafer said, adding that students may also rely on older friends with wristbands to provide them with drinks.
10of 14 students interviewed said that drinking is more central to their experience at the Game than the football itself. Paul Orland ’12 said that the Game is “mostly about drinking; the football just comes along as a bonus.”
Still, a minority of students said thetailgate rules would not affect what they care about most: the actual footballgame.
“People see it more as a school spirit event, whether it involves drinking or not,” John Yi ‘12 said.
This year marks the 127th Harvard-Yale Game since the matches started in 1875.