UFPD announced Thursday that visiting Tennessee fans would be relegated to tailgating in a supervised, mud-filled pen.
“This was done for both the safety of the campus community and visiting fans,”
Said UFPD Spokesperson Alex Nob.
“We wanted to give all the Volunteers a comfortable and familiar place to partake in pregame activities.”
The pen itself, dubbed “the pit” will be located near the UF Beef Teaching Unit off SW 23rd Terrace south of campus. The decision to have the area fenced off was made following complaints from the agriculture department, who feared for the safety of their livestock.
The idea to have the area filled with mud came after Hurricane Irma, which flooded the field and created a large body of standing water. Rather than relocate the visiting tailgate area, UF officials decided the mud would offer easy means for visiting fans to cool off, who may not be used to the intense heat in The Swamp.
“When I first heard the Gators were throwin’ us in a muddy ditch to pregame, I thought maybe they were being a little rude,”
Said Tennessee native Joe McKold.
“But I have played quite a few games of mud pong in my life, and that pit looks just perfect for it.”
The one acre sized pen will house about 30,000 visiting fans, and will even feature a shallow end for the younger fans’ safety. UFPD said they’ll have an officer patrolling the area at all times, as they anticipate mud slinging could be a problem.
Representatives from the University of Tennessee declined to comment on what they thought of the pit, although Head Coach Butch Jones did mention that he hoped the same treatment wouldn’t apply to the football field, as his players hadn’t trained in mud in at least three weeks.