New MSA student tailgating space aims to draw crowds

Entrance to The EndZone will be free for all students.
When not filled with cars, The EndZone, previously known as The Jungle, will be MU's newest tailgating spot. The EndZone is located at the corner of Maryland Avenue and Rollins Street and will open for the first home game Sept. 3.

After failing to attract students to last year's school sponsored football tailgating area, The Jungle, Missouri Students Association leaders decided to start from scratch this year with their latest pre-game activity, The EndZone.

“There were a lot of mishaps and poor planning that went into the development of The Jungle,” MSA President Eric Woods said. “What we ended up having was an event that was very poorly attended and not very successful even though we started to show some progress towards the end.”

Admission prices at The Jungle were $20 and tailgaters had to be member of a student group. Parking was not available for those who attended.

“It became kind of a joke, and we really wanted to disassociate our new attempts at creating a different program with the failure of The Jungle,” Woods said. “The rebranding is because we want to start new and have this event stand on its own.”

Students can reserve a spot for the tailgating area either online or can come the day of the game and take a spot if there are any more available. The tailgating area will also have a community area with table, chairs and food for those fans who don’t have a grill or cooler to bring to the game.

“You can just come in, hang out at your own leisure, play some games, meet some people and then go to the game,” Woods said. “We’re really changing the way that students are able to show up and participate.”

The EndZone was the brainchild of junior Corey Jenkins.

“I applied for a job with MSA and they told me about The Jungle and how it didn’t have a coordinator and they believed that might have led to its unsuccessful start,” Jenkins said. “They wanted me to make it my full time job to run the tailgate and organize it and turn it into something that students would enjoy.”

Admission to the tailgating area is free, but if tailgaters wish to park their cars, there is a $5 fee.

“As we get further into the season and see how the response is for our first couple tailgates we could bring in live entertainment,” Jenkins said.

The EndZone will be located on the metered lot of CG-17 at the corner of Maryland and Rollins street and will open at 11 a.m. before every home game. Prior to the first home game, MSA will provide a free breakfast buffet from Jack’s Gourmet Restaurant.

According to Woods, The Jungle had six MU Police Department officers who were tied to the tailgating lot. He said that by changing the security presence, more students will be open to tailgating in The Endzone.

“We will not have officers assigned to the lot specifically," Woods said. "It will just become part of the regular MUPD security circuit on game day. It will be monitored but not be policed.”

Beer is allowed in the tailgating area, but there is no hard liquor or glass allowed.

“What we’re going for is a kind of a low stress, but laid back and fun student tailgating environment,” Woods said.

Jenkins estimates that anywhere from 100 to 150 people will be in attendance for The EndZone’s first tailgate Sept. 3.

“We’re going to try and attract people by making it a more fun and comfortable environment,” Woods said. “It’s a little more down to earth, but it’s still going to be a lot of fun.”

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