Purdue turns end zone into patio area

The best place to party and tailgate at Purdue games this season might just be inside Ross-Ade Stadium.

The school removed the bleachers from the south end zone of the stadium this spring, and today it announced that the space will feature a patio area that serves beer and wine along with food during games this fall. Season-ticket holders and Purdue students who have purchased a VIP card can access the area, which will open 90 minutes before kickoff.

The area will include a a 3,200-square-foot high-peak tent, patio-style furniture including tables with umbrellas and six 46-inch TVs. It can hold 1,500 fans at a time. The Boilermaker Special, Purdue’s official mascot, will reside in the 16,000-square foot area.

Purdue now joins Minnesota as the only Big Ten schools to serve alcohol at games, but more and more league schools are seriously considering doing the same.

Boilermakers officials said the decision to remove the bleachers, which accounted for nearly 6,000 seats, was done to avoid necessary repairs. The patio area is a temporary solution while the school continues to plan for a major renovation for the south end zone.

In the meantime, this looks like a fun place to be during Purdue games, and I suspect it will quickly become a popular one with fans.