Student tailgating area affected by construction

Caitlin Carter

Construction in part of the Block 12 area – the part encompassed by Center and Kentucky streets and 13th and 14th avenues – could affect where students tailgate this weekend.

The Kentucky Street gravel lot permanently closed on Monday because of construction in the area.


At Friday’s Board of Regents meeting, Student Regent Colton Jessie said the lot was used as one of the student tailgating areas before home football games.

Following Jessie’s remark, President Gary Ransdell said this issue needed to be addressed before the upcoming home games.

“We need to create additional space somewhere,” Ransdell said.

Students tend to mainly tailgate on South Lawn on Homecoming, so the lot closure shouldn’t create as many problems on Saturday, Jessie said.

“South Lawn is the traditional place to be on Homecoming,” Jessie said.

But during the next home game – against Florida Atlantic on Nov. 6 – there is potential for problems because of overcrowding in the student areas, Jessie said.

Jessie said there weren’t many tailgaters in the Kentucky Street gravel lot before the second home game, but that shouldn’t deter WKU officials from trying to find a sizable replacement.

“The reality of it is that during that first home game, there were a ton of people in (the area),” he said. “It didn’t fill up at the beginning of the day for tailgating, but halfway through to the beginning of the game, it was packed just like the paved lot was.”

Jessie said he met with Lindsay Thomas, coordinator of marketing and promotions for WKU Athletics, and Charley Pride, director of student activities and organizations, to discuss the issue after the Board of Regents meeting.

“We are currently searching for new places to tailgate,” Jessie said.

Even with the closure of the Kentucky Street gravel lot, there are four other areas used for student tailgating, including the primary Kentucky Street lot, Pride said.

“If students need more space, there’s the parking lot behind the Sigma Nu house, the non-premium lot by the Rock House across from Gordon Wilson Hall and the gravel lot across from 14th (Avenue), between Kentucky Street and Adams Street,” Pride said.

Pride said the student tailgating areas can be described as a “moving target” while the Block 12 construction project is underway.

“There’s always going to be construction,” he said. “We hope to keep it consistent, though.”