After a competitive review and scoring process, Mississippi State is awarding an exclusive contract for reserved tailgating and tent services to Southern Tradition Tailgating for the 2017 and 2018 football seasons.
The university approved the sole vendor June 12 in an effort to enhance the overall gameday experience for fans and visitors at the 139-year-old land grant institution, ranked by Bestcollegereviews.org as a Top 50 Most Beautiful Campus in Autumn.
“In making this decision, Mississippi State is maximizing value for its growing fan base, enhancing safety and security, and ensuring efficiency and best use of university resources,” said MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter.
“As with our new golf cart policy, this brings MSU in line with our peers in the Southeastern Conference and the vast majority of NCAA Division I universities,” he said. Mississippi State will reinvest proceeds from the approved vendor in the fan and gameday experience, including new signage and safety measures, improved walkways and recycling efforts, among other possibilities.
Salter explained the selection of Southern Tradition Tailgating came after a comprehensive request for proposal (RFP) process, with the new policy planning including a full array of MSU constituencies such as MSU athletics, police, transportation and facilities management that are members of the institution’s Gameday Committee.
“We asked that each RFP include prior vendor experience, organizational capacity, fan base impact and specific benefits to MSU. Members of the Gameday Committee carefully considered and debated each proposal before selecting Southern Tradition Tailgating,” Salter said.
Opened in 2009, the company offers fully customizable rental packages and can accommodate most any size of tailgate. Packages include set-up and take-down services, and a variety of add-ons are available. Company staff are on-site for each MSU gameday.
The contract award in no way affects the first-come, first-serve fan tailgating that has been a tradition at the university for decades, Salter added.
Fans and visitors who are interested in securing reserved tailgating or large tent services should contact Southern Tradition Tailgating at SouthernTraditionTailgate@yahoo.com or 662-769-4153.
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