Tailgating

The Mercer football experience begins with tailgating. We welcome all Bears supporters, from the die-hard fans who set up early in the morning to the casual tailgaters just coming to experience the high-energy atmosphere. To ensure a fun and safe environment for everyone, please read these policies before making your gameday plans.

Respectful Environment

Tailgating should be a lively time of fun, socializing and camaraderie. While we want everyone to have an exciting experience, we ask that guests be respectful of those around them, being mindful of their choice of language, clothing, behavior and activity. Individuals are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the nature and character of Mercer University. We want the tailgating experience to be enjoyed by all.

Tailgate Times and Locations

Parking lots will open at 9 a.m. for tailgating. No overnight occupancy is allowed in tailgating areas. Tailgating sites must be cleared and cleaned by midnight or three hours after the game, whichever is earlier. 

Rule of thumb: Park on pavement, tailgate on grass. Parked cars are allowed to occupy only one parking space. Guests may tailgate around their car as long as they do not impede on the adjacent parking spaces or traffic flow. The grassy areas around campus, unless marked reserved, are open for general tailgating (see map for suggested tailgating areas).

General tailgate areas are to be used on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Bringing Personal Tents

Guests may bring their personal tents for tailgating, with the following guidelines:

  • Size may not exceed an area of 200 square feet.  
  • Tents must be erected on grassy areas or other areas that are NOT designated for vehicle parking.
  • Tents must be “frame tents” that can be erected without stakes. Personal “pole tents” are not allowed.

Food and Catering

Guests have three choices for having food at their tailgate:

  • They may bring their own food in their own vehicle for consumption by their tailgate group.
  • They may order food through Mercer’s catering partner, ARAMARK. Mercer has an exclusive year-round contract with ARAMARK to provide food service for all events on campus. Please help us honor this agreement.
  • They may purchase food from on-site vendors. Vendors have a relationship with the Athletic Department to offer services on gameday.

If guests desire food from a caterer other than ARAMARK, they may pick it up and bring it into the tailgating area with them. Caterers will not be allowed to drive into the parking areas to deliver food to guests. This includes pizza deliveries. Outside food or beverages may not be brought into the stadium. 

Alcohol

Guests have the opportunity to purchase beer or bring their own alcohol while tailgating. 

The Macon Beer Company Bear Garden, located on Black Field adjacent to Five Star Stadium, will sell craft and domestic beer to fans over the age of 21. Those of age who choose to bring their own alcohol should follow these guidelines:

  • Alcohol must be poured into opaque cups before consumption.
  • Guests may not carry glasses, bottles, cans or other containers bearing alcohol-related logos.
  • Original packaging such as wine bottles or beer cans must be stored out of sight, in coolers or cars.
  • Kegs or other large-quantity containers are not allowed.
  • Rapid consumption devices such as funnels are not allowed.
  • Guests may not bring alcohol into the stadium.

All laws related to alcohol consumption will apply. These laws include but are not limited to: not serving alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age, not supplying alcohol to any noticeably intoxicated person, and not driving while intoxicated.

Grilling

Charcoal grills are allowed. Propane grills are allowed if the propane tank size does not exceed five gallons. Grillers will be expected to extinguish and put away grills prior to the game. Hot charcoal may not be left unattended during the game. Grills should be placed on plywood or other platform to protect the grass. Dumping of used charcoal on the campus is not allowed. Digging of fire pits is not allowed. Open flames such as bonfires are not allowed.   

Selling, Soliciting and Sponsorship

No sales activities or solicitations are allowed on the Mercer campus, including any/all tailgating areas, without permission from the Mercer Athletic Department. For more information, or to inquire about corporate sponsorships, call (478) 301-4130 or email athletics@mercer.edu.  

Music

Guests may play music through portable devices or through car stereo systems for the enjoyment of those in your tailgating group. Please keep all music and audio at a volume level that is respectful of your tailgating neighbors.

Trash and Cleanup

Help keep the Mercer campus beautiful by using the trash and recycling receptacles provided throughout the tailgate areas, or by taking your trash/recycling with you when you leave. All groups are responsible for making sure their tailgating areas are left clean. This includes picking up trash and cigarette butts, and removing any leftover food, containers, used charcoal, lawn furniture, and any other items brought in. In short, please leave the tailgate area just as you found it. Beverages and ice may be dumped if done so discreetly in non-pedestrian areas.

Parking Lot Restrooms

Permanent restrooms are available before the stadium opens on game day at the University Center and Connell Student Center. Portable restrooms are located near tailgating areas. 

ATM 

The nearest ATM to the stadium is located inside the University Center, on the top floor next to the Fitness Center.

Tailgate Packages 

Let us do the hard work for you. Tailgate packages are available to rent for 2019 home football games through the Alumni Association. Packages are available to any Mercer Bears fan, not just alumni. Each package includes a tent that will be erected before your arrival with the option to add tables, table covers and chairs.

Tailgate tent packages are available in two sizes:

  • 20×20 tent (20-40 guests) — $455
  • 20×40 tent (40-60 guests) — $780

In addition, you may choose to add the following VIP packages for an extra cost:

  • 20-40 Guest VIP — $240
    • 3 tables (6 feet)
    • 3 fitted plastic table covers
    • 15 plastic folding chairs
    • 2 trash cans
    • 2 coolers
    • Plates, napkins, plasticware and plastic cups for 40 guests
  • 40-60 Guest VIP — $480
    • 6 tables (6 feet)
    • 6 fitted plastic table covers
    • 30 plastic folding chairs
    • 3 trash cans
    • 3 coolers
    • Plates, napkins, plasticware and plastic cups for 60 guests

Please read before ordering:

  • Tailgating packages are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Tents be located on Black Field, with the exact location determined by Alumni Association staff.
  • Mercer University reserves the right to relocate or cancel any tailgating events.
  • No refunds will be issued for events cancelled within two weeks of the selected game date.
  • Parking is not included.

To purchase tailgate packages, visit the reservations page, email alumni@mercer.edu or call the Alumni Association office at (478) 301-2173 or 800-MERCER-U.

If you have technical difficulty or questions concerning your order, contact Ceallsach Crouch at crouch_cv@mercer.edu (478) 301-2173.

Bear Plus Members

Contact Brian Gerrity at gerrity_bt@mercer.edu or (478) 301-4003 to make arrangements to tailgate in the designated Bear Plus locations.

Corporate Sponsors

Contact Lee Walker at walker_lb@mercer.edu or (478) 301-5220 to make arrangements to tailgate in the designated sponsor locations.