MSU's Special Events and Game Day Operations Committee has adopted new policies designed to help regulate the expansion of commercial tailgating companies used by fans who don't set up their own tents. Beginning in Fall 2014, the university will levy a fee for those companies.
If you are unfamiliar with this - tailgaters pay private businesses to set up their tents when the areas on campus open on Friday afternoons. They often set up tents to mark off a space, many also provide TVs, generators, tables, etc. to be used by their customers.
Some of these policies have been set in place across the SEC as competition has begun between traditional tailgaters who prefer to set up their own tents and those who would rather pay vendors to provide tailgating setups.
Don Buffum, MSU's director of procurement and contracts, said that the university wants to preserve the "first-come, first-served" tradition at MSU tailgating events.
MSU will designate two specific areas for commercial tent operations to be comprised of about 250 spaces. According to university relations, a commercial operator will be defined as anyone who is paid to set up more than 10 tents.
For fans who travel in on gameday weekends and are unable to set up their own tent on Friday afternoons, these companies can be a big help. Once fees are levied, the prices with either go up or the companies with have to sub-divide into smaller companies each designed to put up nine tents. Conversely, families just looking to set up their own tent are often taken over by these commercial operations.
The full policy can be reviewed here. More information can be found at www.fanguide.msstate.edu.