Large crowds turned out Saturday for pre-game festivities at the new student tailgating area.
Located at the end of Frog Alley toward Cantey Street, 12 organizations set up tents for students and alumni, some of whom said they had never tailgated before.
Student body president Brent Folan said the on-campus tailgate is meant to build the TCU community and unite as Horned Frogs.
Freshman biology major Cameron Anzel said tailgating with fraternity Phi Kappa Sigma was his first campus tailgating experience.
Anzel said the most exciting part of the tailgate was seeing members of the football team run through the area, as well as meeting up with new friends to take part in the game day experience.
Marc Trevino, a TCU alumnus who graduated in 2010, brought his new purple tailgating trailer to Frog Alley, which he and his father bought for the new football season.
Trevino, a former backup kicker for the Horned Frogs, stocked the trailer with items such as helmets from former TCU football players, wide screen TVs to broadcast the game and storage for food and drinks.
He said his first experience tailgating was during his senior year, and he noticed significant changes between tailgating while he was a student compared to now.
“Walking around the tailgating area, nobody could tailgate right,” Trevino said. “With the new conference, the new stadium, we have to do the right kind of tailgating.”
Trevino said he got to campus to set up his trailer at 1 p.m. on Saturday and had to wait in line to get in the parking lot, which is something he said he had never seen before.
And with the crowd the new student tailgating brought in, campus characters like the TCU “Purple Man” could be seen interacting with students and spreading the Horned Frog spirit.
Senior sports broadcasting major Mike Buhtanic, also known as the “Purple Man,” wears a full-body, purple spandex uniform called a Morphsuit at each home game.
As part of “Gary Patterson’s Merry Men,” a group of students who wear different patterns of Morphsuits at games, Buhtanic said he enjoys participating in any TCU event where students can have a good time.
He said previous tailgating experiences were nothing compared to this year.
“Freshman year we had [a tailgate] between Waits and Colby that was just really terrible,” Buhtanic said. “So having this kind of experience is really nice. It’s great for college football and it’s great for the Frogs in general.”
Tailgating events will occur in the same area for every home game.