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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 24, 2006

Alcohol-Free Tailgate Area Receives Continued Funding

The University of Iowa athletic department will provide continued funding to maintain an alcohol-free tailgate area on days when the Iowa Hawkeyes play home football games.

"It's one of the university's priorities to provide alcohol-free entertainment opportunities, and we want to help provide those opportunities however and whenever we can," said UI Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby. "It also provides a safe, family-friendly venue for the many Hawkeye fans who want to participate in pre- and post-game gatherings that don't involve alcohol."

The tailgate area is located in a parking lot between Melrose and Grand Avenues, about two blocks from the entrance to Kinnick Stadium. The lot has been off-limits to anyone with alcohol since it was established in 1999 and has been maintained by the UI Office of Student Services and the Stepping Up Project. While the athletic department has provided ongoing logistical and marketing support for the lot, this will be the first time since its early years that it has provided financial support.

People who tailgate in the lot cannot have alcohol with them at all, even if they're not consuming it. All expenses incurred to maintain the tailgate area are to pay security guards who ensure no one in the lot carries or consumes alcohol. Next year's expenses have not yet been determined, Bowlsby said.

In the past, those expenses were covered by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Stepping Up and the Office of Student Services. However, Angela Reams, coordinator of Stepping Up, said possible budget constraints put the tailgate area's future in doubt next season until the athletic department agreed to provide additional financing.

Reams said the lot fills up quickly on game days.

"It's especially popular with families who have young children, who want to enjoy time with friends and let their kids participate in activities in a setting that will keep them away from alcohol and its harmful effects," she said.

Phillip Jones, vice president of student services and dean of students, said he appreciates the athletic department's increased commitment to the tailgate area.

"The alternative tailgate area has evolved into a family friendly area for those who wish to have pre-game snacks and activities," said Jones. "We are very pleased to have the athletic department's collaboration in continuing this service to fans that prefer an alternative venue for pre-game participation."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.