Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gameday Countdown

UPDATE: We are now officially 11 DAYS away from the start of Auburn Football and 18 DAYS from the first game in Jordan-Hare Stadium. This morning when I woke up, the cooler air reminded me that it is almost that time. While it is still hot, we are starting to get glimpses of what is to come. Today we are going to dive into the world of tailgating. We receive calls all the time asking the who, what, where about tailgating on gameday, so today, we hope to help answer some of those questions! Below is information straight from the fan guide. To receive a copy of the official fan guide, email info@aotourism.com or call (334) 887-8747.

How does it work in general?

  • Tailgating is not allowed on campus until 4 p.m. on Friday. Tailgating will be allowed on Friday at 6 a.m. for the Alabama game.
  • Please observe and follow signs in and around all construction areas.
  • Reserving tailgating spots in grass areas using stakes, ropes, ribbons, tape, chairs, tables, tents, vehicles or other items is not allowed until 4 p.m. on Friday (except Alabama game), except for specially permitted University events. Items found before then are subject to removal without notice or reimbursement.
  • It is unlawful to use any university utilities.

Where can I tailgate with my RV?

The hayfields on Donahue Drive will open for free, public RV parking at 2 p.m. on Thursdays prior to home games. The hayfields close at 4 p.m. on Sundays following each home game. The hayfields will open on Wednesday at 2 p.m. for the Alabama game.

Can I buy tailgating spots?

Tailgate at the Park- This fall, bring your tailgate parties to the Tailgate at the Park, where your space is reserved all season, and your walk to the game is only a block. Tailgate packages are available for any size group-whether it's just you and your family, or if you and your friends plan to reserve space together. Fans can customize their packages to include premium parking, reserved tailgate spots, tents, tables, and chairs. RV Parking and special event packages are available too. Reserve your season of hassle-free tailgating at www.ag.auburn.edu/tailgate.

Tailgate Guys- Since 2009, Tailgate Guys has provided a superior, turn-key tailgating service for the game day fan. Offering fully customizable tailgate packages, Tailgate Guys can accommodate almost any size or type of tailgate. All tailgate packages include tents, chairs, tables, and personalize signage with the option to add TV packages, catering and other supplemental items. They operate in a premier location on the Campus Green just steps from Jordan-Hare Stadium. For more information, please visit www.tailgateguys.com or call (334) 209-1259.

Are there any special requirements for my tent?

Tents with stakes shorter than 12-inches may be set up after 4 p.m. on Fridays (6 a.m. for Alabama game). Permits are required for any tent with stakes that are 12-inches or longer. Permit requests are handled online at www.auburn.edu/tents or (334) 844-4619.

Special permits are required for outdoor entertainment events with amplified sound. Permit requests must be submitted at least 14 days in advance and must include a list of required information for the request to be approved. Requests should be made to (334) 844-4619. Special event permits are not site reservations.

Can I have a grill?

Grills are not allowed within 50 feet of campus buildings or in other designated no-grill areas. All fires must be contained within grills or other containers designed specifically for that purpose. Extinguish charcoal fires thoroughly with water before leaving them unattended. Place extinguished charcoal in designated containers or remove it from campus for disposal. Do not dump charcoal on the group or in dumpsters. Tailgating and grilling are not allowed in the parking decks.

Will there be recycling bins for me to use?

Please keep campus beautiful by placing all trash and recycling in the proper bins located throughout the university tailgate areas, RV lots, and stadium for your convenience. Litter and recycling bags will also be distributed in tailgate areas and RV lots to help keep the university litter-free. Please see the Gameday map for trash and recycling locations.

Can I drop my tailgate supplies off?

Each game day, fans will have the opportunity to unload their vehicles in one of six designated locations.

The locations are:
A. Transportation Tech Center (Magnolia Avenue)
B. Goodwin Music Hall (Samford Avenue)
C. Mell Street Station (Mell Street)
D. Thach Avenue (Mell Street)
E. Intramural Fields (Biggio Drive)
F. Facilities Division (Samford Avenue)

*At spots, A, B, E, and F, fans may utilize the drop-off point beginning at 6 a.m. until 2 hours prior to kick-off.
**At spot C and D, fans may utilize the drop-off point beginning at 6 a.m. and ending when the Mell Street corridor is closed 4 hours prior to kick-off.

Well there ya have it! We hope that this helps you plan your tailgating for the 2015 AU Football season. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (334) 887-8747 or visit our website, www.aotourism.com/football, for additional information! Stay tuned next week as we break down gameday weekend events!

This week in Auburn/Opelika:

August 25: Opelika Mainstreet Farmers Market from 3-6 p.m.
August 27: The Market at Ag Heritage Park from 3-6 p.m.
August 27: Jazz! Food! Art! at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art from 5-8 p.m.
August 28: Closing reception for Ceramics and Drawing Exhibition "Florishing"
August 28: Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors in Concert from 5-10 p.m.
August 28: AU Soccer vs. UAB at 7 p.m.
August 28: AU Volleyball vs. Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m.
August 29: 12 Hours of Nite Nationals at Chewacla State Park
August 29: AU Volleyball vs. Jacksonville at noon
August 29: AU Volleyball vs. Samford at 7:30 p.m.
August 30: AU Soccer vs. Furman at 1 p.m.

For more information on these events or upcoming events, please visit www.aotourism.com!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Gameday Countdown

It is official. We are only 24 DAYS away from kick-off in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Luckily, we only have 18 DAYS until the Tigers are back in action. If you are like me, you can feel your blood pumping. You are starting to get anxious and maybe even a little impatient for those Saturdays on the Plains. Well, while I can't speed up time, I can help you get ready for the big day! Throughout the next few weeks, I am going to give you the run down on everything gameday. From hotels to events, you will be ready to head down to the Plains in no time!


Despite the rumor, hotels are NOT sold out. As of last week, the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau is reporting 29 hotels that still have availability for the first game against Jacksonville State. Auburn and Opelika have no shortage of rooms. Auburn currently has 18 hotels, with two of those being brand new with the Courtyard by Marriott on Exit 51 and Candlewood Suites on Exit 57. Opelika has 16 hotels, including the Marriott at Grand National on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Don't let staying in Opelika scare you, in a few minutes, you will discover that the Tiger Transit system makes it easy for you to travel between the two cities on gameday. The Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau works hard all season long to ensure that availability is up to date. We provide a listing for you to view each week at www.aotourism.com/football with the most current rates and openings at each hotel in Auburn and Opelika, although these should be used as a guideline due to availability constantly changing. If you have any questions, you can always call us and we will be happy to help you find room. Below is an example of our Football Hotel Availability listing:


Parking can be overwhelming on gameday, but have no fear, we are here to break it down for you. Below are parking instructions straight from the Fan Guide. If you would like a copy of the Auburn Fan Guide, please email us at info@aotourism.com.

Rule & Regulations
No parking is allowed on the roadway, bike paths and sidewalks.

For pedestrian safety the Mell Street corridor, bound by the intersections of Thach and College, Mell and Samford, and Miller and College will close to all vehicular traffic approximately two to four hours prior to kickoff. To improve safety, parking and post game exiting, game day guests will ONLY be allowed to access parking in the Mell Street corridor from College Street via Roosevelt Drive. Guests parking south of Roosevelt Drive will be required to park facing south and guests parking north of Roosevelt Drive will be required to park facing north.

Vehicles are not allowed inside areas enclosed by bollards, posts, chains or fences. Cars in these areas or those found blocking roadways, sidewalks, emergency lanes, fire hydrants, driveways or other vehicles are subject to being towed at the owner's expense.

Non-university golf carts and all-terrain vehicles are not allowed on campus.

All streets must remain open to traffic and emergency vehicles, except those that are blocked by law-enforcement barricades surrounding Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Accessible Parking
To utilize the AU Accessible parking lot, two items must be present at time of entry:
  1. The state-issued handicapped license plate or hang tag;
  2. The individual holder of the handicapped registration form must be present in the vehicle with photo ID.
  3. Fans parking in ADA lot are not permitted to rope-off or hold spaces for any reason.
RV Parking Information
RVs arriving prior to their designated time may park in the large grass parking areas located at the corner of Donahue Drive and Lem Morrison Drive, beginning at 2 p.m. on Thursday (2 p.m. Wednesday for Alabama Game). RVs must leave campus by 4 p.m. on Sundays.

No-RV zones remain in effect in the core area of campus and other sites. Please refer to the Game Day Map in this guide to determine which areas are designated No-RV zones.

In order to minimize dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning casued by engine exhausts from RVs, trailers or portable generators, owners should ensure that engines are properly vented. Always park in a manner that ensures adequate space between vehicles. Install carbon monoxide detectors if possible.

That was overwhelming and wordy, but to sum it all up, check out the gameday parking map below.


Don't want to bother with parking? Auburn University Tiger Transit system offers a free service on gamedays that takes the worry and hassle out of gameday. The Tiger Transit buses run four hours prior to kickoff, continuously during the game and for two hours post-game to return fans to their stops. What more could you ask for? Tiger Transit pickups are located at various locations around the Auburn-Opelika area, so no matter what direction you are coming from, you can enjoy this luxury on gameday. Below are the transit pickups:


Duck Samford Park (Airport Road, Auburn)
The transit bus pick-up point is located approximately 100 yards on the left after entering Duck Samford Park.

City of Auburn Softball Complex (2560 South College Street, Auburn)
Conveniently located off I-85 (exit 51), the transit bus pick up point is located next to Surfside Water Park.

Village Mall (1627-53 Opelika Road, Auburn)
The transit bus pick-up point is located off Mall Blvd in close proximity to Belk's parking lot.

TigerTown (2199 TigerTown Pkwy, Opelika)
Located off exit 58, the transit bus pick-up point is located in close proximity to the Kohl's parking lot.


War Eagle Way (serves as main campus pick up and drop off point)
All game day Tiger Transit shuttles will drop-off and pick-up on campus on War Eagle Way, immediately north of the Nichols Center.

Facilities Division (Samford Avenue)

Lem Morrison and Donahue

West Parking Lot (W. Thach Avenue)

Community Garden (Samford Avenue across from facilities)

We hope that you are well equipped with where you are going to stay and how you are going to get to the action, but as always, if you have questions, please give us a call at (334) 887-8747. Stay tuned for all about tailgating! For more information on gameday, please visit www.aotourism.com or www.auburntigers.com.

This week in Auburn-Opelika:

August 13-22: Auburn University Welcome Week
August 18: Bartender of the Year Competition at the Hotel at Auburn University.
August 18: Opelika Mainstreet Farmers Market from 3-6 p.m.
August 20: The Market at Ag Heritage Park from 3-6 p.m.
August 20: Jazz! Food! Art! at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
August 21-23: Thunder Road Classic
August 21: Young Frankenstein at the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center
August 21: Come Home to the Corner in Downtown Auburn.
August 21: Comedy Night featuring James Gregory and Jody Fuller at the Bottling Plant Event Center
August 21: Act of Congress in concert at Sundilla
August 22: Tails & Trails 5K Run and One Mile Walk at Town Creek Park

For more information on these events, or upcoming events, please visit www.aotourism.com!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Auburn-Opelika Best Bites Part 3

Today is our last installment of Auburn-Opelika Best Bites. While I am sad to see this series go, I am beyond excited for you to experience more of the tastes of the town. We have already explored wonderful dining options for any mood, but just wait until you read what we have in store for you today. I am 100% positive your mouth will be watering by the end. We are taking a different approach today by walking through every meal option you could have in one day. So loosen up that belt buckle, you are in for a tasty ride!

Breakfast: Barbecue House

Not only is this some of the best barbecue you will find in Auburn, it is also home to some of the most amazing breakfast in town. Their made-to-order, country style breakfast is worth waking up early for, trust me. Some breakfast favorites include made-from-scratch biscuits, French toast, pancakes, hashbrowns, bacon, their famous link sausage and eggs, any style. Breakfast is only served on the weekdays and early kick-off football games, so make plans before you lay your head down to get there!

Personal Favorite: French Toast with a side of cheese grits and bacon. (My mouth is watering, is yours?)

Located at 345 South College Street in Auburn.

Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Lunch: Niffer's Place & Niffer's at the Tracks

Lunch is a time to kick back, relax and have fun with friends, co-workers or even grab a bite with the significant other during your busy day and Niffer's is ready to provide you with the atmosphere needed! Auburn Alum owner Keely Beasecker loves for people to enjoy her funky restaurant with event better food. They have something for everyone including wings, nachos, huge salads. 1/2 pound burgers, grilled chicken with steamed veggies, pasta, vegetarian dishes, kid's menu, desserts and so much more. As you can see, no matter what you are the mood for, chances are, Niffer's has it! Located in both Auburn and Opelika, you can visit no matter where you are!

Personal Favorite:
Appetizer: Corn Nuggets, sweet and delicious and served with Niffer's own honey mustard.
Entree: Greek Quesedillas, a flour tortilla filled with, grilled chicken, spinach, parmesan cheese, greek dressing, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
Side: I ALWAYS order Niffer's chips with a side of Mexicali Dip
Drink of Choice: Fish Bowl Watermelon Margarita (It is to die for!)

Located at...
Auburn, 1151 Opelika Road
Opelika, 917 S. Railroad Avenue

Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Midday Treat: Toomer's Drugs

There isn't much to say about this famous Auburn establishment, other than it provides the backdrop to the famous Toomer's Corner! While shopping, it is very important to head on over and try some of their famous lemonade, which was ranked No. 1 in Esquire magazine's "162 Reasons It's Good To Be An American." Toomer's has been an Auburn tradition for over a century. Aside from the amazing freshly squeezed lemonade, you will find delicious fountain specialities and snacks as well as plenty of Auburn souvenirs to round out your shopping trip!

Personal Favorite:
You can't beat a nice cold cup of lemonade and an ice cream sandwich!

Located at 100 N. College Street in Auburn.

Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday: 12-5 p.m.

Dinner: Ariccia Trattoria & Bar

Ariccia Trattoria & Bar blends a new world feel with an old world culinary concept. Located in the Hotel at Auburn University, you will be transported into an Italian-inspired world with Southern Hospitality. From homemade pastas and pizzas to hearty meat and seafood based entrees, you will not be disappointed. They are also open for Sunday Brunch with features all your favorites including a build-your-own Bloody Marys and Mimosas bar. The restaurant also features an espresso bar, distinctive wine list and has a private dining room for special events!

Personal Favorite:
Appetizer: Lobster, butter pached lobser, carrot apricot panna cotta, white balsamic vinaigrette, candied pecans.
Entree: Chicken, organic breast, porcini, spinach, roasted garlic, farro risotto, lemon.
Dessert: There dessert menu is ever changing!

Located at 241 S. College Street, inside the Hotel at Auburn University.

Open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

BONUS: Sunday

Lunch: Pannie George's Kitchen

Experiencing this unique Southern style cooking after church is a must when you are in the area. Named after their grandparents, the owners and operators of this causal, cafeteria-style restaurant has quickly become the place to go for traditional Southern cooking. Selections vary daily- other than their legendary fried chicken- and include items such as catfish, meat loaf, macaroni & cheese, purple hull peas, cabbage, banana pudding and sweet potato pie. I don't know about you, but I just got hungry. Don't miss on some down home cooking while you are in town.

Personal Favorite:

Located at 2328 South College Street in Auburn.

Monday-Tuesday: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Wednesday-Friday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sundays: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Now that you are in the know on all the dining options Auburn and Opelika have to offer, make sure to tell everyone you know. After all, we don't want these tasty places to be kept secret! For more information on all dining options in the Auburn-Opelika area, please visit www.aotourism.com.

This week in Auburn-Opelika:

August 4: Opelika Mainstreet Farmers Market from 3-6 p.m.
August 4: Summer Swing Concert Series at 7 p.m. at the Muncipal Park
August 6: The Market at Ag Heritage Park from 3-6 p.m.
August 7-10: Alabama State Junior Tennis Open at the Yarbrough Tennis Center
August 7: First Fridays in Downtown Opelika
August 9: Auburn Football Fan Day from 3:30-5:30 p.m.