Big time college football is about to be back in Norman, Oklahoma. Yes, I can’t wait to watch the actual OU football team, which seeks an improved season on the field over last year’s forgettable results.
But the real story — the one that has Sooner fans electrified and looking to have their own improved season — is that tailgating will be returning to Lindsey Street. I can hear the “Boomer” chants now.
When OU opens its 2023 season by hosting Arkansas State on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 11 a.m. — don’t get me started — some lucky fans will have prime pre-party locations along the south side of Lindsey Street, a tailgating triumph that has been prohibited since 2017.
Last year, some fans — including me — said the designated tailgating areas left some room for improvement. When the OU Board of Regents voted in June to authorize President Joe Harroz and Athletic Director Joe Castiglione to create a new tailgating and major event day policy, regents emphasized that they receive a lot of comments and feedback about tailgating. As a result, regents said they wanted to offer an informal review of the tailgating policy before it was announced.
At the June meeting, Harroz said OU’s impending move from the Big 12 Conference to the Southeastern Conference spurred the tailgating review.
“One of the things we want to look at is the tailgating policy to ensure the best experience,” Harroz said. “The goal here is to expand tailgating in a way that [values] fun and safety.”
OU announced the new tailgating changes last week, and I was happy to hear the news. Having more fan access to the core area around the stadium should only increase the excitement of game day, and an entire generation of OU students will get to experience it for the first time.
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