LSU tailgating ban means big adjustments for local businesses
BATON ROUGE – LSU football is back Saturday, but something will be missing: the craziness of tailgating.Most fans will have to watch the game away from campus due to the pandemic, and the change will mean an adjustment for many business owners too.
“I really thought it was a rumor. And, hopefully, I was thinking it was an incorrect rumor,” said Brad Vickers, recalling when he first heard tailgating was banned at LSU.
It means less revenue coming in to his business. Vickers owns Southern Tradition Tailgating, a company that rents out large trucks packed with TV’s and chairs to die-hard Tiger fans.
“Fifteen to 20 were already rented out. We had to refund and cancel those,” Vickers said.
Though loyalty to the set-up, the food and drinks are helping business owners like Vickers. One truck is still going to be rented out for a Baton Rouge neighborhood during the LSU football game on Halloween, and many are already looking ahead to next season.
“At LSU, they do typically rent year-in and year-out, so I'm sure they'll be back for next year,” Vickers said.
Those in the food industry are also banking on fans still wanting to have a good time during the game, just at a different spot.
“We either want you here or we'll cater to your house,” said Justin Ferguson, the co-owner of BRQ Seafood and Barbeque.
On a typical game day, Ferguson and his crew would be preparing 40 large catering orders for tailgaters. For Saturday’s game, only a few orders have come in so far.
“We’re really relying on people to call in for doing their home tailgate parties so that's what we're focusing on; all of our packages and to-go stuff,” Ferguson said.
Business surrounding tailgating is changing, but these owners will take it. They say they're just happy it isn't a complete loss.
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