After a major shift last year, tailgating procedures for Baldwin High School’s annual homecoming football game will largely remain the same in 2019.
Baldwin’s homecoming is set for Friday, Oct. 18, when the team welcomes region opponent Thomson High School to Braves Stadium. The 2019 BHS homecoming king and queen will be crowned inside the stadium in between the two football teams duking it out, and outside the stadium, hundreds of Baldwin alumni are expected to gather for what has become an annual tailgating tradition. The Baldwin County School District is on fall break all this week, but groups interested in reserving a tailgating spot can still pick up a tailgating packet at the Baldwin High main office this week between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The cost for a tailgating spot is $50.
Before last year, the designated homecoming tailgating area was close to the stadium. A switch was made in 2018 to move the space farther away from the stadium entrances due to space issues, but still close enough to not discourage attendees from going to the game. The Lakeview Academy parking lot housed the operation last year and will do so again this year after school officials received positive feedback regarding the change.
“I think there were some apprehensions about changing last year, but I will tell you that we have received nothing but positive feedback from everybody starting the night of the tailgate,” BHS athletic director Dexter Ricks told Baldwin County Board of Education members during their September work session.
The main piece of feedback shared included fans saying they enjoyed the extra space the Lakeview Academy lot allows.
Also like last year, those wishing to gain entry to the tailgating area will need to purchase either a ticket to the football game or a wristband. The wristband system was put in place partially so BHS could recoup some of the revenue lost from those who attend the tailgate but never purchase a ticket to the game. Those who purchase tickets can show them at the tailgate to receive a wristband, but those who wish to remain outside the stadium can purchase just a wristband for $5.
The lone change presented to the board last month was the addition of a shuttle that would run fans to and from the tailgate and the stadium entrance since the tailgating area is further out now.
“Outside of that, I don’t really see anything we would need to alter or change,” Ricks said.
Tailgating packets may be picked up at the Baldwin High School main office this week between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.