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Tailgating at LSU’s first home game a ‘getaway’ from Hurricane Ida cleanup

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - For many fans, tailgating at LSU’s first home game was the perfect distraction from the long road to recovery from Hurricane Ida.

“Today’s just kind of a getaway, you know get away from everything and clear my head, come sit in Death Valley with a hundred thousand something with my closest friends,” LSU fan Chris Waguespack, who had some storm damage to his home, told WAFB.

RELATED: LSU Athletics to accept donations for Hurricane Ida victims on Sunday, Sept. 12

“Oh man it’s like Christmas morning, you get all the gifts at one time, and you get to meet at your old friends and eat a lot of good food,” LSU fan Mike Blount, who had been set up since early Saturday morning, said.

Fans tailgate between the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and Tiger Stadium on LSU's campus in...
Fans tailgate between the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and Tiger Stadium on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La., before the Tigers' first home game against McNeese State on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.(WAFB)

But perhaps those who were most excited, were those who had never tailgated for an LSU home game.

“I’m super excited this is my first time tailgating ever. I’m so excited to see how everything is and I’m so excited just to like to have a first home game at LSU. It’s going to be awesome to see everything,” LSU freshman Cali Pearce said.

For the most part, it seemed like a regular home game. The only thing different was the stadium’s new policy to only allow fans in who have proof of COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test.

So, to avoid any congestion in the long lines outside of Tiger Stadium, LSU has set up multiple COVID prescreen checkpoints across campus.

RELATED: LSU announces 12 preverification sites to speed up entry into Tiger Stadium

“There are 12 checkpoints across campus and people just come up to the checkpoints and show us either a copy of their vaccine card, my LA Wallet, which will tell if they’ve been vaccinated or partially vaccinated, a negative COVID test within the past 3 days, or they could do a positive COVID test if it fits within the 90-day frame,” Alexandria Nettles with LSU’s victory team explained.

However, not every fan was thrilled about the new rules.

Fans tailgate outside of Tiger Stadium on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La. for the Tigers first...
Fans tailgate outside of Tiger Stadium on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La. for the Tigers first home game against McNeese State on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.(WAFB)

“Now I have to have a vaccination that I’m not comfortable taking or proof of vaccination, I’m sorry, proof of a negative test which I have to now pay for $35 for every home game that I’ve already paid a lot of money to come see,” LSU fan Paul Sehwartz said.

Campus officials tell us for now, the new process is a trial and error for future home games this season.

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