BR.tigerland.adv HS 020.JPG

Primarily frequented by LSU students, the bar scene at Tigerland comes to life late Thursday night, November 21, 2019, south of LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La.

Sarah Andre, an LSU sophomore, hasn’t been to Tigerland since the summer of 2020, when an outbreak of COVID-19 was directly linked to the cluster bars just off LSU's campus. She describes the atmosphere now as “low-key.”

“If I could do a then versus now, its nothing like compared to what it used to be,” Andre said. “It sucks now, but it kind of gives me a taste of what eventually it can be again.”

Tigerland opened its doors at 50% percent capacity this weekend following Gov. John Bel Edwards' shift into Phase 3 guidelines for the state. But things are still quiet — there are little to no lines upon entering the bars and there is plenty of breathing room inside.

Tigerland bars closed at 11 p.m., which is three hours earlier than their pre-pandemic closing times. They were not allowed to let anyone under age 21 in.

All bars have tables and seating, with the ambiance of a sports bar. That's much different than what things looked like before the pandemic -- open spaces crammed with students standing so close together they can barely move.

Phase 3 allows bars in all parishes to open at 25% occupancy. In parishes below a 5% coronavirus positivity rate, bars can open at 50% occupancy.

Vaccine news in your inbox

Once a week we'll update you on the progress of COVID-19 vaccinations. Sign up today.

In the summer of 2020, the Louisiana Department of Health said it had confirmed a coronavirus outbreak tied to multiple Tigerland bars. LDH said it had received more than 100 reports of patrons and bar employees testing positive for COVID-19.

Health officials urged those who visited to self-quarantine. Several signature bars and restaurants near campus closed temporarily as workers tested positive.

Coronavirus vaccines will be offered at Tiger Stadium on Sunday, March 14. The community vaccine event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Appointments are required, and all the slots were filled on the same day the site was announced.

Louisiana expanded vaccine eligibility on Tuesday to include anyone 16 and older with one of nearly two dozen broadly defined health conditions. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is only available to those 18 and older.


Email Alyssa Berry at aberry@theadvocate.com.