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Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas calls new tailgate area 'Grange Grove'

A name has surfaced for the lot on Memorial Stadium's west side.

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois may have a new name for Lot 36, which sits on the west side of Memorial Stadium and will be transformed into a new tailgate area.

On March 29, the athletic department released official renderings of the proposed new tailgate area. It will make its debut when Illinois host Kent State on Friday, Sept. 4.

The Red Grange statue on the west side of Memorial Stadium will look over the lot, hence the Grange part of the name, Thomas announced.

The second part comes from Ole Miss' legendary 10-acre tailgating spot called "The Grove," which began a pre-game tradition in Oxford, Miss. in the 1950s. Fans often arrive around noon the day before the game and claim their spot.


This is a great idea to enhance the lackluster game day experience, but Thomas' name for the new tailgating area misses the mark. Ole Miss' Grove is synonyms to them and them alone. Don't copy them, be unique.

Grange is the greatest college football player of all-time and with his statue overlooking the lot, his name should be include. The new tailgate area should be called "Grange's Pasture" because Memorial Stadium sits next to the State Farm Center also known as "The Farm."