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UPDATED: November 9, 2015, at 3:45 p.m.
With the annual Harvard-Yale football game starting two hours later than in previous years, House Committees are preparing for a later-than-usual tailgate but expect restrictions and activities to remain the same as in the past.
In previous years, the Crimson took to the field against the Bulldogs around 12:30 p.m. But at this year’s Nov. 21 game in New Haven, kickoff will start at 2:30 p.m., a change prompted by requests from the NBC Sports Network airing the game, according to Andy Dunn, Yale’s senior associate athletics director.
Similar to past years, students may tailgate at the “student tailgate village” on the tennis courts of Yale’s Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center. But with the time change, tailgating will begin at 11 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m. and will still last three and a half hours.
The later start time is prompting relief from many Harvard House Committee chairs, who often wake up much earlier than most students to prepare for their tailgates.
“I think on the HoCo end and event planning end, it’s beneficial to us because we get a later start,” Eliot HoCo co-chair Jesus E. Moran ’16 said. “So that means we don’t have to be up at six in the morning to go set up tailgate or to go get food, or alcohol, or whatever the case may be.”
Although the start time is different, specific tailgating regulations have not changed since the last New Haven match-up, according to Dunn. In 2013, the first Game played in New Haven since a U-Haul accident at the 2011 matchup resulted in a woman’s death, Yale significantly tightened its tailgating policies. Under these policies, which closely resemble the notoriously strict policies that have been in place at Harvard for a number of years, hard alcohol, kegs, and glass containers are prohibited inside the student tailgate.
While some administrators have expressed concerns that The Game could feature excessive drinking this year given the later start time, some HoCo chairs said they do not expect problems.
“We’ll have full on food to make sure that if people are choosing to do that, because I guess they’ll be awake for a longer period potentially before The Game starts, that we are helping people make better choices,” Quincy House HoCo co-chair Gaby Ruiz-Colon ’16 said.
HoCo chairs expect to receive specific tailgating guidelines from the Office of Student Life later this week. In the meantime, students have raised other concerns related to The Game’s later end time; it will likely conclude after sundown.
“I’m more curious about how after The Game is going to go because it's going to be dark,” Adams House HoCo co-chair Santiago Pardo Sanchez ’16 said.
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