Taft taking applications for tailgating space
by BRIAN NADIG
Taft High School is accepting applications from student families who would like to reserve tailgating space for the school’s home football games at its new varsity campus sports field at 6530 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
"I want it to be a good, family atmosphere, (and) families to be able to walk over from the neighborhood and get a little college atmosphere," Taft principal Mark Grishaber said. He added that gas grills will be allowed but that alcohol use and "inappropriate" behavior will not be tolerated.
Taft hosted its first "Friday Night Lights" game last year using temporary lights, but permanent lights are being installed this year following a $300,000 donation from 1966 Taft graduate Len Wislow.
Sixty of the 70 parking spaces in the school’s parking lot along Bryn Mawr will be reserved for tailgating, with the additional spaces reserved for school-related activities, including a player autograph area for children and booths for the Taft Alumni Association and Taft Parent-Teacher-Student Association, Grishaber said. In addition, food trucks will be lined up along Bryn Mawr, he said.
Each tailgating participant will receive two adjoining parking spaces and four tickets to the game for a total cost of $50 per game. The proceeds will cover the cost of security for each game, which is estimated at about $600, Grishaber said.
Taft’s 2020 football schedule has not been finalized, but the school will host four or five games, most of which will be held on a Friday night, Grishaber said. The first home game is set for Friday, Aug. 28, he said.
Eventually the tailgating may be relocated to the driver’s education lot, pending some improvements to the area, Grishaber said. The lot would allow for food trucks in the middle and the tailgating around them, he said.
Applications for a tailgating space are available on the school’s Web site at www.tafthighschool.org. Only families with a student at the school are allowed to apply, and a drawing to select 30 applicants will be held in May
A $50 deposit will only be cashed if an applicant is chosen, and payment for all home games is due Aug. 1. Tailgaters will have access to their parking spots 3 hours before kickoff.