Wednesday: Vandyville This is the third part of a weeklong series on VUCommodores.com titled Changing the Culture, which highlights the changes that have been made in the offseason. These changes were implemented after receiving feedback from the fan base through a fan forum, an online suggestion box and multiple conversations.
On Monday VUCommodores.com took you inside the renovated locker room and on Tuesday we looked at the improvements to parking. Today, we look at the changes fans can expect to see in Vandyville this season.
Since its humble beginnings of just 10 tents in 2005, Vandyville has grown exponentially through the years and has become the No. 1 tailgating destination on gameday.
Thanks to record demand Vandyville will be larger than ever this year with a record number of tents pushing the tailgating destination further down Natchez Trace. In addition to being larger than ever before, Vandyville will also feature a number of noticeable improvements that will enhance an already festive gameday atmosphere.
"Vandyville continues to be the cornerstone of our tailgating environment and we are excited to add some additional resources that we believe fans of all ages will enjoy," said Steve Walsh, Vanderbilt Director of Sales and Marketing. "From our interactive kids zone to the live music, we continue to strive to make game days at Vanderbilt memorable for all of our fans."
As has been customary, Vandyville will again open three hours before kickoff in 2011. Not long after the first burgers and brats have been placed on the grill, fans will have the opportunity to greet the Commodores as they walk through Vandyville en route to the locker room. The team bus will drop the Commodores off at the corner of Natchez Trace and Children's Way approximately 2 hours, 15 minutes before kickoff. Star Walk will still take place approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes before kickoff.
In conjunction with Vanderbilt's flagship, 97.1 RQQ, Vandyville will also feature a live band at every home game this season. The stage will be positioned on the south end of Natchez Trace at the intersection of Children's Way.
For the first time ever, Vanderbilt's pregame radio show will originate from Vandyville 90 minutes before kickoff. The pregame show will also begin 30 minutes earlier than in previous years.
"To see the atmosphere around the stadium change over the past few years has been exciting," said Joe Fisher, Vanderbilt's director of broadcasting. "Commodore football is now a day long event ... with many getting there early and staying late, and that's as it should be. We are thrilled to be in Vandyville as part of the pregame show. There's no better way to get ready for football!"
Vanderbilt will also unveil a Legends Tent this season. The tent will be designated for Vanderbilt athletics celebrities each week. The selected individuals will be announced the week of the game and will be available to sign autographs and meet with fans before each game.
The kid's zone has also been relocated and improved. It will now be located in the field at the corner of Natchez Trace and Children's Way and will have inflatables at each game as well as a sno cone or cotton candy machine and table to receive temporary face tattoos. A few of the inflatables are shown below.
Fans will also be able to utilize the kid's zone as a family tailgate area.
Here are a few other notable changes: A new Coca-Cola picnic area has been established near the video screen at the north end of Vandyville. Fans will be able to sit and eat at tables or gather around the highboys.
The NCC will have a member services tent in Vandyville to answer and membership services for fans in attendance.
A countdown to kickoff sign will be added to Vandyville and will inform tailgaters time reminders for how many minutes until events such as Star Walk or the game begin.
Limited Number of Vandyville Tents Remain
Space in Vandyville is filling up fast, and fans have until Aug. 5th at 5 p.m. to reserve a tent.
Tents are available for $600 for the entire season (no single-game rentals) and a serving table can also be added for $100. You must be a football season ticket holder to order. Fans who reserve tents in Vandyville will also receive two parking passes in Lot 2.
The tent and table will be setup for you every game will be identified by signage that will feature your group name.
Those interested in joining the tailgating experience in Vandyville, can reserve their tent today by contacting Allison Bradley in the sales and marketing office by phone at 615-343-0245 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check back Thursday for the next installment of the Changing the Culture Week.