Gameday on the Plains in 2020

Local News

AUBURN, Ala. (WIAT) — Some things never change, even amidst some of the most uncertain times in college football history.

Auburn University capped Jordan-Hare Stadium at 25% capacity and prohibited on-campus tailgating for the Tigers’ 2020 season opener against Kentucky — but AU fans provided a sense of normalcy, both inside and outside the stadium.

“Just getting back to normal,” Michael Burnett said. “It feels good. A little bit of normal in a crazy time right now.”

Burnett and Drew Burkhalter — college roommates at Auburn almost two decades ago — put on their “Magnolia Tailgate” just off campus on Magnolia Avenue, as they have for the past 15 years.

“There’s been a lot of crazy times on this corner,” Burnett said. “Wins, losses. Just being out here today is a win.”

On a typical Saturday, the Magnolia Tailgate is home to around 20 families. For the 2020 season opener, though, it was limited to the Burnetts and the Burkhalters. Still, gathering on that patch of grass in the shadow of Auburn’s campus offered a slice of what many people have been missing for the past six months: camaraderie, normalcy, and joy.

“It’s fantastic,” Burkhalter said. “It’s nice to have it back, have something to do.”

Drew, Michael, and their families were kind enough to let CBS 42 crash the Magnolia Tailgate Saturday. Check out the video above to experience gameday on the Plains, 2020 style.

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