Hobbs determined to address The Alley concerns, find solution
The Alley, a student tailgate lot sponsored by the Athletics Department, may be making a comeback after a shut down due to "safety concerns" was announced on Tuesday.
A petition circulated online in response to the decision, calling for students to boycott football games until The Alley's reinstatement and garnering more than 1,800 signatures. Hours later, a group named "FREE THE ALLEY" was created by students on Facebook.
Now, less than 24 hours after Rutgers Athletics announced The Alley's cancellation in a tweet, Athletics Director Pat Hobbs released a statement signaling that the University would "work towards a resolution."
"After meeting this morning, Athletics, Student Affairs and Public Safety have agreed to work together to see if we can find a way to make modifications to The Alley or find an alternative site which will address the concerns," the statement reads. "We will, of course, work with student leadership to see how this might be accomplished."
Hobbs cited concerns about capacity, alcohol consumption and availability of services as leading to The Alley's shutdown. The lot, which was to be open for seven Rutgers home games, was cancelled after two.
A letter from AD Pat Hobbs to the students regarding The Alley: https://t.co/eUkoKIFgCe
— Rutgers Athletics (@RUAthletics) September 21, 2016
The gravel parking lot, located across from the Werblin Recreation Center on Busch campus, offered hangtags for up to 25 student organizations each game day. With the creation of The Alley, Rutgers Athletics hoped to increase the energy at the football games.
“We want to provide students with every opportunity to enjoy their football gameday experience,” said head football coach Chris Ash. “Student involvement is a critical element to the energy in the stadium and we look forward to them bringing that passion on gameday.”
A video surfaced on the Internet this weekend showing Hobbs sipping a beer while speaking to students at The Alley prior to Saturday's New Mexico vs. Rutgers game. In an interview with NJ Advance Media, Hobbs called his actions a "mistake" and said he "was trying to restore order to what was turning out to be an unruly atmosphere."