Tailgating On The Hill
Tailgating is as much a tradition at Mean Green football games as any other university, and North Texas took tailgating into account when it constructed Apogee Stadium, setting aside an area just outside the stadium for students, fans and alumni to gather before games.
The Hill is a gentle rise dotted with trees, lying just outside the east entrance to the stadium and north of the Victory Hall parking lot. The Radisson Hotel once sat atop its summit, and its south slope was part of Eagle Point Golf Course, a Don January-designed course. Unfortunately, the course had deteriorated to a point where recovery would have been prohibitively expensive and its use had dwindled.
To bring the site back to life, North Texas did extensive landscaping of its par-72 fairways, planting trees and building a walkway leading from North Texas Blvd., over a water hazard reclaimed as a duck pond, along the base of the Hill, and into the stadium.
Beginning in 2011, golf pros made way for grill masters, and the angry snapping of four irons over knees was replaced by the hungry breaking of bread over cold drinks.
On game days, tents and awnings, grills and coolers, televisions and wandering musicians spring up along the walkway and the path that snakes its way up the Hill. By mid-morning, lawn-chair chefs have wreathed the area in the aroma of roasting meat. Tables laden with side dishes and sauces - even the occasional vegetable that wandered too close - are set upon by hordes of green-clad diners.
Then it's time for some Mean Green football. There's just no better way to spend an afternoon.