With all of our talk about Tailgating today, it would be a mistake if we did not talk about LSU’s actual parking rules for the 2018 season. Every year LSU makes slight adjustments to the rules and maps as they continue to push the non-TAF controlled parking further and further away from the stadium, making traveling to an LSU game more inconvenient and more expensive for the average ticket buyer every season. This year is no exception.
There are no major changes to the rules this year, other than the information about the Blockparty company (more on that below), and the change to the generator recommendations that now officially recommend the use of a battery inverter instead of small quiet generators. There is still no prohibition or restriction on generators, even the huge loud ones.
Amusingly, the campus No-Fly-Zone for drones remains in effect.
I should also note that, at the time of this writing, paid advance parking in some of the lots near the river and the Union Garage are still available. If you’re going to a game and aren’t actually going to tailgate, these options might save you some headache on gameday.
Let’s move on to the map.
2017 (full size link)
2018 (full size link)
Before getting into specifics, note that the overnight passes for the blue zone game-by-game parking are now being sold at the softball stadium ticket office on Fridays, not Alex Box like in years past. Also, there haven’t been any announcements about postgame contra-flow changes, so expect last year’s struggles to continue and plan accordingly.
They cut it close, but the multi-year project to build new dorm towers on the site of the old Married Student dorms and the old Alex Box Stadium are now complete, along with a refurbishment of Nicholson Drive itself. Unfortunately, there’s not much this does for the average tailgater. The new 109 and 110 lots are TAF controlled, and cost a pretty penny for being right across the street from the stadium. This new area also includes a new parking deck, but for now it is strictly reserved for residents of those new dorms.
This area also includes a market area with a Matherne’s grocery store. It’s location makes it instantly the best place to go for needed tailgating supplies in the middle of the day, instead of having to travel off and back to campus in the insane gameday traffic.
Had a drive on Nicholson today.— PodKATT (@valleyshook) August 10, 2018
Good news: road construction is done and it’s back to four lanes.
Bad News: if you were on of the folks who used to park on the shoulder of Nicholson, near Track and the Natatorium, that shoulder is gone. pic.twitter.com/Vx9u4eDeTt
Also be aware that with the refurbishment of Nicholson, from North Stadium to the north gate of campus, the formerly flat shoulder where many people used to park is now an expanded high curb with landscaping and no curbside parking.
Progress continues on the plans to replace and eventually demolish the Kirby Smith tower, that great monument to old-timers “back in my day” horror stories about freshman life at LSU in the 80’s and 90’s. The Spruce dorm is now open, and the construction zone moves west. For anyone not familiar, don’t count on much being available in theses large purple free parking areas. It’s also the parking lot for West Campus Apartment residents and is usually full.
CEBA/ Paid Tailgating
The biggest, and most controversial change to this year’s map is what’s going on down at CEBA. Along with some street name changes, both to reflect the fact that after the renovations CEBA isn’t called CEBA anymore, and to prepare for LSU’s much larger campus Master Plan overhaul (which I don’t have time to go over right now, but if you tailgate anywhere on campus, you should give a look at the major changes that are coming down the road in a few years), LSU has also reduced the blue game-by-game zone by another block on South Stadium.
The reason for this is that the scourge of pre-paid tailgating, which has devastated traditional tailgating environments all over the south at places like Auburn and Georgia, has finally made it’s way to LSU. Far more insidious than removing non-TAF parking spaces, LSU now wants to control actual tailgating space on gamedays, so they can charge you for the privilege of being on campus before a game starts. They’re starting small, this year only controlling the area around CEBA that’s been closed for construction for the last few seasons and also a yet undisclosed area of the Parade Grounds. Just look at the ridiculousness of these prices for the SELA home opener.
SIX. HUNDRED. DOLLARS. To rent a 10x10 tent, 6 chairs, 1 ice chest, and a couple tables. All so you and ten friends can have the lamest tailgate I’ve ever heard of. A grand for a 10x20 tent and you don’t even get a TV.
And of course, because this is LSU, some games are more equal than others. These same packages have a $300-$500 premium addition for the UGA and Bama games, with the top deluxe package costing nearly two grand. For three ice chests and ten chairs. It’s embarrassing highway robbery and shame on anyone who is so lazy that they won’t setup their own tailgate and so rich that they can blow their money on this. Please, stay home instead and prevent this horror from creeping in anywhere else on campus (which you just know is their eventual plan.)