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Tailgating at a UCF football game has become a tradition for both students and alumni alike. Here are some tips and rules that every tailgater will want to know before heading out for the gameday festivities.

First, if the football game is scheduled for 6 p.m., tailgating is not permitted until noon, which means that the UCF Police Department will shut you down if you head out there too early. The good thing is, if the game is scheduled earlier than 6 p.m., the party can get started as early as 8 a.m.

Wearing black and gold is practically a necessity for everyone who goes out to the game or anyone who is just out to tailgate at UCF, especially if you are going to walk about Memory Mall.

Undercover police officers are out there and will be on the lookout for all sorts of mischief on campus, especially underage drinking.

For those students who are old enough to drink, there are plenty of areas to enjoy adult refreshments while tailgating around campus. A couple of rules to remember are that glass containers are not allowed and drinking games are not permitted during tailgating hours. Alcohol is not permitted inside Bright House Networks Stadium – except for those drinks purchased at the Carl Black and Gold Cabana – so don’t bring it in, they will search your bags.

Tailgating is not permitted in any of the parking garages and is only permitted in the designated open parking lots and other locations, such as Lake Claire and Memory Mall. For those who are not parking and want to enjoy the fun, Memory Mall is a popular spot for students to set up their tailgate.

However, keep in mind the new policies for reserving tailgating spots on Memory Mall. Anyone who wishes to set up a tent, grill or tables must reserve a tailgating spot through the new Knights on the Mall, launched by the Student Government Association and Alumni Association. Spots can be reserved on a game-by-game basis, with reservations opening at 10 a.m. … But make sure you snatch a spot as soon as possible; spots sold out within a few hours for the opening game against FIU.

Memory Mall is a giant grass field between the student Union and CFE Arena, and the most popular spot for students and people without vehicles to tailgate. Memory Mall has built a reputation for being a rowdy tailgating area because of the strong student presence and has been known to be an area for visitors to stay away from. In fact.

While the tailgating festivities are going on, there are a lot of different things to experience around campus, from families grilling out under a tent in an open lot, to the Marching Knights performing at Memory Mall.

There are even multiple restaurants available for food and drinks inside the Student Union.

Hydration is something to remember while you tailgate around the UCF campus.

Drunkenness, obscene behavior, violence and harassing behaviors are a good way to end up on academic probation or even arrested.

There is also list of items that are prohibited inside the stadium: umbrellas, cans, bottles, banners, flags, horns, whistles, personal chairback seats, video or camcorders, balls and artificial noisemakers, among others. See the full list at UCFgameday.com.

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Dennis Kastanis is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.

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