New tailgating service makes successful debut

Jameson Pitts

Tailgate Guys, a regional all-in-one tailgate package service, debuted Saturday on the UT campus for the first home game of the season. The new tailgating options come during other campus-wide gameday changes and reductions to parking and tailgating.

Jackson Crawley, assistant general manager of Texas Tailgate Guys, said they sold between 25 and 30 tents for the Rice game, which included special event packages that accommodate up to 400 people. Costs range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the type of package.

“We’re going to have about four or five thousand people here today,” Crawley said.

Packages come complete with a tent, chairs, TV and cooler, as well as optional catering.

“A lot of our higher-end packages have sold really well,” Crawley said. “People love a high level of hospitality here.”

Crawley said Tailgate Guys set up their tents on the LBJ Lawn from East 23rd Street all the way to Robert Dedman Drive, an area previously clear of tailgating, to be near the Longhorn Network’s Texas Gameday, Fan Fest and parking.

Max Leaman, a season ticket holder who purchased a Tailgate Guys package for himself and friends, said it was the most convenient tailgating option.

“You just show up, and it’s all set up. We get to watch TV, and then we’re going to walk into our seats right there,” Leaman said. “It’s perfect.”

The packages also come with a parking spot located in Lot 40, according to Crawley.

Lot 40, as well as other lots near the Dell Medical School construction, are no longer available for tailgating or Longhorn Foundation member parking. Valerie Muñoz, a four-year member of the Longhorn Foundation, said this is the first football season members are required to pay an additional fee to park.

“It sucks,” Muñoz said. “The price of tickets already went up, and on top of that now you have to pay for parking.”

Muñoz and other Longhorn fans said despite the changes, they were still able to find or reserve spots.

Before the Longhorn Foundation required members to pay for parking, only 6,200 of the more than 10,000 complimentary gameday parking passes for members were actually used, according to the UT Athletics website.

Crawley said Tailgate Guys has no shortage of business and they expect to sell out for the California game next Saturday.