In an effort to relate my opinions to the University student body and not exclusively speak about conservative politics, an important issue must be brought to light: Tigerland makes absolutely no sense.
For those who are drop-dead supporters of the Tigerland experience, it is worth questioning if they have been to any other bars, ever. Abduction is a much greater concern in Tigerland than in any other Baton Rouge bar scene. It shouldn’t be forgotten that in February 2019, a criminal posed as a ride-share driver to attempt to kidnap a woman in the Tigerland area. Furthermore, the criminal who attempted to kidnap the woman escaped, showing the lack of security there.
Even if one manages to avoid criminals, there is still little appeal in this concentrated neighborhood of bars. On a good night, the entire parking lot is packed like a can of sardines, sometimes smelling just as ripe. Drunken patrons weave in and out of oncoming traffic, and it is common to see people sprawled on the ground so intoxicated they can’t move. And that is only what someone can see from the parking lot.
Taking a walk into the actual bars is a nightmare on its own. Aside from Fred’s, which is a bit more exclusive, has more room and invites bands to perform, the bars leave one questioning if that is what Sodom and Gomorrah looked like right before they were destroyed with brimstone and fire.
The same mumble-rap songs are blared ridiculously loud, half the people in the bars are under 21, and people are rounding third base in front of God and everyone in the bar. Usually, some guy next to you feels inclined to light up a cigarette even though the air is already so thick you can cut it with a knife. The only reason people feel inclined to stay is to get the value out of the cover price at the door.
The only advantage people have in going to Tigerland is that it is a walkable distance for many people living around the south side of campus. When comparing Tigerland with actual grown-up bars, any college student will realize they are missing out.
Bars downtown actually have the convenient technology of air conditioning and heating, keeping the establishment at a comfortable temperature. Louisiana is generally not the forefront of technological innovation, but the first modern air conditioning unit was built in 1902, so Tigerland can be expected to keep up.
Real bars don’t mysteriously leave white shoes an uncomfortable shade of mucky brown. Real bars have drink specials that are not glorified jungle juice or vodka shots, and don’t make you pay just to get in the door. Furthermore, downtown Baton Rouge bars are not packed with a bunch of different fraternity groups as if it were a college-themed remake of “West Side Story.”
Honestly, if people are searching for the highly coveted “college experience,” then they should explore Tigerland, have a terrible time and risk being ticketed by the undercover cops handing out MIP’s like confetti at a football game. But time spent at any university should be more than just following the well-traveled path, especially the one that leads to Tigerland.
People should want to be more than the average student who spends their nights down Bob Pettit Blvd, and go explore the other facets of Baton Rouge. They should immerse themselves in one of Louisiana’s most influential cities and make the most out of Baton Rouge nightlife. In the worst-case scenario, more white shoes will be kept white and the air conditioning will be at a decent level.
Brett Landry is a 21-year-old political communication senior from Bayou Petit Caillou, Louisiana.