This University Policy governs tailgating activities on campus, including locations, times, permitted items, prohibited items, and other important details.
I. Policy Statement and Purpose
UNC Charlotte desires to create a safe and enjoyable experience for its Patrons before, during, and after intercollegiate athletic events on campus. The purpose of this Policy is to clarify the rules and regulations related to tailgating at intercollegiate athletic events that will enhance and promote civility, ethical conduct, good sportsmanship, and an exciting game day atmosphere amongst fans, students, and visitors on the UNC Charlotte campus.
It is the responsibility of every person or group Tailgating on the UNC Charlotte campus to be familiar with and abide by this Policy as well as all other applicable laws, policies, rules, and regulations.
A. Alcoholic Beverage: Any beverage containing at least one half of one percent (0.5%) of alcohol by volume. See University Policy 706, Alcoholic Beverages.
C. Patrons: All University students, employees, and visitors who are on Campus for the purpose of attending and/or celebrating intercollegiate athletic events.
D. Tailgating: A gathering of Patrons outdoors that typically occurs around a vehicle or in a parking lot or parking deck, which may include consuming food and beverages, including Alcoholic Beverages, at an approved, designated area during approved times before or after official UNC Charlotte intercollegiate athletic events.
III. Coverage and Jurisdiction
This Policy applies to any Patron who is Tailgating on Campus.
A. Locations and Reservations
- Tailgating is permitted in officially designated areas only. The Department of Athletics designates approved areas operated by Athletics for athletic event Tailgating. The Department of Athletics will coordinate with Parking and Transportation Services for use of parking lots/facilities for athletic event Tailgating. Such areas will be identified with signage the day before Tailgating events.
- Vehicles must vacate officially designated Tailgating parking lots/facilities by midnight before game day or be subject to towing.
- All Tailgating Patrons, except students in the student lot(s), must pay for the designated Tailgating parking spaces either before the football season or on game day.
- Tailgating is prohibited in the following areas:
- Chancellor’s residence grounds and parking lot
- Recreational fields & athletic fields
- Botanical Gardens
- Protected flood zones, unless specifically approved by the University
- Wildlife areas
- Natural habitat areas
- Campus graveyard
B. Dates and Times
- Tailgating may occur only on dates when intercollegiate athletic events occur on Campus.
- Tailgating areas will generally open four (4) hours prior to the beginning of each athletic event. Patrons must vacate Tailgating areas no later than two (2) hours after athletic event has ended.
- Tailgating at halftime and during the athletic event is prohibited. All athletic facilities have a no re-entry policy; Patrons are not permitted to leave the athletic facility and re-enter during an athletic event.
C. Tents and Structures
To effectively accommodate the large number of Patrons wishing to Tailgate, the University asks individuals to be cognizant of the tents and other Tailgating items they use.
- No tent used as part of or in conjunction with Tailgating, other than tents provided by the University or its authorized vendors, should exceed ten feet by twenty feet (10’ x 20’).
- Each tent used near a grilling area must be UL approved and have a fire resistance rating label. Such tents used near grilling areas must also be completely open on all sides.
- Unstable structures can pose a safety threat and interfere with Patrons’ enjoyment of game day. Therefore, all tents and similar structures used in conjunction with or as part of Tailgating must be adequately secured and anchored appropriately using, for example, sandbags or water barrels. Due to potential damage to underground utilities, the use of stakes is prohibited.
- To allow Patrons to easily move throughout Campus on game day, no tent, similar structure, furniture, grill, generator, or other item used in conjunction with or as part of Tailgating should be positioned to obstruct any sidewalks, driving lanes, traffic flow, pedestrian walkways, or disability access routes.
D. Grills, Fuel, Generators, and Electricity
Propane gas and charcoal grills are permitted at outdoor Tailgates on Campus, under the following conditions:
- Operators of grills are responsible for their safe operation at all times while on Campus.
- Grills must be attended at all times when in use.
- Grill operators should have an approved ABC fire extinguisher.
- Cookers or grills on trailers must not be larger than a 55-gallon drum and must not be left attached to a vehicle while in use. Such cookers or grills must not be used in non-open spaces (e.g., parking decks).
- Gas grills may not exceed a propane tank of 20 pounds.
- All grills must have metal covers or lids.
- All fires must be contained within the grill. Grills should be positioned so that flames are kept at a sufficient distance from buildings, trees, tents, HVAC intakes, fresh air intakes, vehicles, flammable or combustible liquids, and any other flammable or combustible items.
- Open pit fires are prohibited.
- Grills must be located a minimum of 25 feet away from combustible structures and ten feet away from non-combustible structures.
- Grills must be at least 15 ft away from buildings.
- Smokers and other open flame and heat-producing devices are not allowed inside buildings or parking decks.
- Grills are prohibited on brick pavers unless specifically approved by the University.
- Grills must not be positioned so as to obstruct the ingress or egress from any building or to obstruct any sidewalks, driving lanes, traffic flow, pedestrian walkways, or disability access routes.
- Large cookers and smokers are allowed only in specified locations and must follow Environmental Health & Safety requirements.
- Neither propane grills nor charcoal grills are permitted inside parking decks. Only propane grills (other than cookers or grills on trailers) are permitted on rooftops of parking decks.
- The area within ten feet of any grill, smoker, or deep fryer must be kept clear of all debris. Each grill operator should ensure that grass is no less than six inches from the heating surface.
- Grills may not be attached to, connected to, or positioned such that they have any contact with a vehicle while in use.
- Shutting Down
- Fires in charcoal grills must be thoroughly extinguished with water before leaving the grill unattended. To properly extinguish charcoals, pour water on the coals until they are no longer hot.
- Embers must be disposed of in appropriate containers provided in designated Tailgating surface lots and other specified Tailgating areas. See Section IV.I(6) below.
- Tank valves must be shut off prior to disconnecting propane cylinders from grills, smokers, or deep fryers. Propane cylinders must be removed from all grills prior to storage.
- Grills must be fully cooled prior to storage and should be properly secured after use.
No propane gas canister used in conjunction with or accompanying a Tailgate may exceed an approved LP gas 20-pound tank. Due the safety risks involved with significant amounts of propane, Tailgates should not have more than one spare 20-pound tank of propane. As additional safety precautions, spare canisters should be kept at least ten feet from all grilling activities and should be kept in an upright position so that the pressure relief valve is in direct communication with the vapor space of the canister. Patrons must take their propane canisters with them when they leave campus and dispose of them properly elsewhere.
Portable generators are permitted, but each generator must be equipped with a noise-reducing device (for example, a manufacturer-approved cover or muffler). Special care and consideration should be taken when handling fuel and extension cords associated with generators. Generators must not be operated in enclosed areas, near building intake ventilation ducts, or in parking decks. Generators must not be refueled while in operation.
Use of electrical outlets and/or electrical service inside or outside parking decks or lots is prohibited unless prior written approval has been granted by Parking and Transportation Services.
E. Alcoholic Beverages
To ensure a safe, responsible, and enjoyable atmosphere on game days, Patrons should be aware of and abide by all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and policies pertaining to alcoholic beverages. Patrons should avoid participation in or support of any circumstances involving public intoxication, disorderly conduct, or underage drinking.
In addition to the provisions set forth in University Policies (including University Policy 706, Alcoholic Beverages) and North Carolina statutes and regulations on alcohol consumption, which will be strictly enforced, the following rules also apply while Tailgating:
- No Alcoholic Beverages except Beer or Unfortified Wine are permitted while Tailgating.
- No Sale of Alcoholic Beverages may occur while Tailgating.
- Drinking games (included but not limited to beer pong), and the use of devices intended to accelerate the consumption of alcohol (including but not limited to funnels or beer bongs) are prohibited.
- Anyone who consumes Alcoholic Beverages while Tailgating must be able to produce, upon request by a University or State official or agent, a valid driver’s license or other valid photo ID that indicates the person’s age is 21 or older.
- Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages on game days outside of any officially designated Tailgating areas (or other approved areas) is prohibited.
- If a person becomes noticeably intoxicated while Tailgating, a University or State official or agent may require that person to leave the Tailgating area and/or Campus.
Tailgating is an important component of the festive, enjoyable atmosphere that draws thousands of people to UNC Charlotte intercollegiate athletic events. Patrons are encouraged to pay attention to the content and volume of video and audio they play during Tailgating to be considerate of others and to ensure a safe, enjoyable environment for all Patrons.
G. Vehicular Traffic
- Tailgating areas may not impede vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic.
- Riding bicycles, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, hoverboards, e-scooters, etc. is prohibited within designated Tailgating areas.
H. Prohibited Items and Activities
To ensure a safe, enjoyable environment for all Patrons, the following items and activities are prohibited in Tailgating areas:
- Glass containers;
- Furniture (not intended to be portable), sofas, recliners, structures (except tents as permitted in Section IV.C) etc.;
- Pegging or staking of tents;
- Personal or portable restrooms (other than those provided by the University and its vendors);
- Animals other than Service Animals or Service Animals in Training, as set forth in University Policy 704, Animals on Campus;
- The use of golf carts, mopeds, scooters, e-scooters, ATVs, go-carts, and other similar motorized vehicles, unless such use is specifically approved in writing by the Department of Parking & Transportation or is by a University employee or agent who needs to use such vehicle for work-related purposes; and
- Solicitations, banners, and signage for advertising purposes, and product sampling endeavors, unless written approval is provided in advance by an authorized representative of the University. See University Policy 601.9, Sales, Solicitations, Distribution of Materials, and Campus Displays.
- Public urination is prohibited. Patrons are required to use open restrooms in University buildings or portable toilets provided by the University.
Patrons are asked to help maintain and preserve Campus grounds by being responsible on game day and cleaning up after Tailgating. Each Tailgate is expected to properly dispose of all trash and other refuse.
- Before vacating, Patrons to Tailgate should ensure that there is no loose trash or other refuse surrounding the Tailgate area.
- Waste food items, recycling, and trash must be disposed of in appropriate containers provided across Campus.
- UNC Charlotte encourages all Patrons to properly dispose of Tailgating waste and, whenever possible, to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Each Tailgating Patron should collect trash and recycling in separate bags. Recyclable items include aluminum and steel cans, plastic and glass bottles, #2 and #5 tubs, cardboard, and paper. In some high-traffic parking lots, UNC Charlotte may provide color coded trash and recycling bags for use by Tailgates. Unless otherwise instructed, trash should be placed in green dumpsters, and recycling should be placed in blue carts at the dumpster sites.
- Tailgating Patrons are encouraged to reduce waste by reusing equipment, coolers, cups, napkins, utensils, and other materials. Waste can also be reduced by eliminating or minimizing the use of disposable or single-use items, serving snacks and condiments in bulk, and bringing storage containers for leftover food.
- Excess liquids (such as cooking grease and unfinished beverages) must not be poured down storm water drains (each of which is marked with a “Drains to Creek” placard). Cooking grease should also not be disposed of in dumpsters.
- All grill content and other waste must be disposed of in an appropriate manner in the University-provided barrels marked “Hot Coals” or in similar metal containers with metal covers. Tailgating Patrons must not put grill content in any trash receptacle, grass, shrubs, parking lot, bin, dumpster, or storm drain. Proper disposal reduces the risk of fire, injury, vehicle damage, grounds damage, and the possibility of sediments causing a negative environmental impact by entering the water drainage system.
- The sponsoring unit will provide necessary trash receptacles for all forms of trash and coals from grills and will ensure that Tailgating locations are properly cleaned and returned to the same condition as prior to the event. All costs associated with this clean-up will be the responsibility of the sponsoring unit.
J. Damage to University Property
UNC Charlotte strives to maintain the beauty of Campus for everyone to enjoy. Therefore, any Patron determined by the University to have damaged University property will be responsible for all resulting costs of maintenance and repairs deemed necessary by the University in its sole discretion. Such resulting costs may include, but are not limited to, expenditures necessary to repair grass or landscaped areas that may be damaged.
V. Roles and Responsibilities
Any violation of this Policy may result in termination of Tailgating privileges, criminal prosecution, and/or disciplinary action through the Office of Student Conduct if the violator is a UNC Charlotte student, through Human Resources if the violator is an employee, and through Police and Public Safety if the violator is a visitor.
- Initially approved May 8, 2019
- Updated September 12, 2023
Responsible Office: Student Affairs
- University Policy 706, Alcoholic Beverages
- University Policy 601.9, Sales, Solicitations, Distribution of Materials, and Campus Displays
- University Policy 704, Animals on Campus
- University Parking Ordinance Section 3-7, Grilling/Cooking and Open Flame Devices in Parking Decks or Structures
- University Parking Ordinance Section 3-8, Camping and Other Activity Prohibited in Parking Decks or Lots
- NC General Statutes, Chapter 18B