An overhaul of tailgating rules set the stage for the biggest regular season matchup University of Texas-El Paso has seen in years.
Athletic Director Bob Stull told ABC-7 last month, month that rule changes following a 2010 game against NMSU led to a decrease in fans.
With the Miners set to kickoff kick off against the Oklahoma University Sooners at 8:30 p.m. Crowds p.m., crowds have found there way back to UTEP. On Friday morning morning, fans began pouring into exterior parking lots of UTEP for tailgating. RVs filled up a parking lot by 9 a.m.
Fans like Corey Songer, who'd never tailgated before, were among the hundreds vying for the perfect spot.
"We loaded it all up this morning, and brought it out here," said Songer pointing to a smoke barbecue and a grill.
On the menu for Songer were pulled-pork sandwiches for lunch, lunch and ribs that he'll carefully smoke for six hours leading up to kickoff.
"We were just going to do some hot dogs and burders, burgers, but we're going to go all out and smoke it up," said Songer.
Songer won't be drawing attention for his food, though. He'll be drawing attention because of the clothes on his back. Songer is a Sooners fan. He's stationed at Fort Bliss, so he decided now is the best opportunity to grill with friends even if they are rooting against one another.
"He might be sleeping outside tonight if it goes that way," said Corey Zagelow, pointing out he brought the RV.
Whether it's the competition, the opening day atmosphere, or new rules something has drawn fans. Unlike 2011, there could be reason for fans to continue piling in past the first few games.
Tailgaters will still have to wait until 2 p.m. to begin tailgating on the inner campus. However, each week will have themes complete with music and games games, something that wasn't a part of the tailgating experience last year.