Hello Idaho, by Robert Ehlert: Readers sound off about tailgating and drinking at BSU

August 15, 2013 

Tailgating

PHOTO COURTESY DENISE KIRTLEY

Time will tell if designating new tailgating turf in areas adjacent to Bronco Stadium on Boise State football game days beginning Sept. 7 is a touchdown or a safety.

What we know is drinking alcohol and other tailgating rituals will be allowed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for seven game days in the following areas: the eastern half of Julia Davis Park, city blocks between University Drive and Beacon Street, and between Broadway Avenue and Joyce Street, and a peninsula between Capitol Boulevard, University Drive and Cesar Chavez Lane.

(Click here for a map of the tailgating boundaries)

Perhaps the scariest thing about the new tailgating territories is that, at some points, a river (Boise) runs through it.

Will beersters be issued inner tubes and wine lovers water wings?

We are going to hold our powder on this one until we see it in action. But in the meantime, our Facebook page has been abuzz over the new boundaries and exceptions. Following are some sample comments:

Susan Morrow: I think the only thing changing is that what they do will now be legal.

Dave Arant: Bring it!

Diane Dory Wilmot: I just never understand why we continually advertise that drunken drivers kill people, but then also encourage drinking on game day!

Michael Adams: I'm OK with this.

Jenny Niemeyer: Great. More blue and orange drunk people smashing beer cans on their foreheads. Keep me away from there.

Laura Metzler: I don't think anyone encourages people to drink on game day. Drinking on game day is a fact, and is part of the football/soccer tradition throughout the world. We all have the responsibility to practice control in everything we do.

Jeannie Allen Miller: Don't go near there. This is a travesty. The state of Idaho loves to restrict access to everything except that which benefits BSU. Hypocrisy. No booze on the river, no booze outside the tents at Hyde Park Street Fair, Art in the Park. I feel like I'm in a dog cage at those events if I want a beer that I have to pay an exorbitant amount for but I'm not allowed out of the dog run. These morons will be nothing short of a civic disaster. No consistency in public policy is the sign of a weak government.

Amber Beierle: Seems like on campus is fair game, but extending to the park? I do not agree with that. Why should only football games get the exception to the park rules? I am an AVID Boise State fan. I love what the program has done for my school and my city, but unless BSU or the tailgaters are paying the city for permits, I don't think it's right.

Douglas Burgan: This is not a problem, but increase fines and penalties for the few people that can not behave in a responsible manner. If they are arrested for drinking in excess and causing problems in the area make it a mandatory 30 days in jail and $1,000 fine and post signs saying it is so! A great source of revenue and way of promoting responsible behavior.

Patricia Gander Rich: Some in my family have season tickets and some do not. By tailgating in the park, we can enjoy the pregame and halftime with them and still go to the game. Responsible adults don't need to be over-regulated and we are responsible.

Patricia Gander Rich: Amber, people should be able to have a beer or wine with their picnic, but since too many get drunk, live in the park or leave beer cans or glass bottles, limiting alcohol to specific events is fair. Art in the Park and many other special events allow controlled alcohol consumption so this isn't that big an exception.

Jeanne Williams: As a country we need to stop implementing behavior regulating laws. They don't work. My guess is there is already a drunk and disorderly law on the books. Revenue enhancement laws are just that and if the city is looking for ways to raise money, that is just pathetic.

Jennie Nelson: No change

Lindarose Curtis: The city of Boise must be paying a lot of overtime to the police patrolling these areas for drunks and underage drinking on game day, otherwise the city and the university may be liable for any problems caused by these drunks celebrating in the park and on the streets. I think this is an idiotic proposal. Why would the city and state encourage people to drink???

Alvin Lee Powers: Keep it away!

Sam Sandmire: Bring it on.

Robert Ehler is the Idaho Statesman's editorial page editor. He can be reached at rehlert@idahostatesman.com

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