Take part in this wonderful fall tradition – and whether you drop in or host your own tailgate, we have tips and teams to consider.

Whether it’s college football or the National Football League, tailgating sure is fun and a great way to get hyped for the game. Here’s are some tailgating tips as well as a list of some of the top teams to tailgate with.

Tips

  • Research your site and see what restrictions might apply. Can you have an open flame or charcoal grill? Can you bring your own alcohol?
  • Bring comfortable chairs. Most tailgates start well in advance of kick off so you want somewhere comfy to sit while you wait for game time.
  • Be prepared for the weather. It may start out sunny and warm, but weather can change as the day goes on. Bring foldable ponchos and wear weatherproof, warm footwear to keep the tailgate going all day long.
  • Prep in advance. Whether it’s chopping, slicing, or cooking some items, do as much as you can before you leave home. This takes the pressure off of timing and makes tailgating more fun for you!
  • Keep critters at bay. Did you know that tossing a sprig of rosemary or some garlic on your grill will keep mosquitos at bay? Or, that a pop bottle partially filled with apple cider vinegar creates a natural fly and bee trap? The more you know.
  • Leave the space as you found it (or in better condition than you found it). Make sure to bring plenty of garbage bags, wipes, etc. to clean up after yourself and your guests. Recycle as much as you can.

Teams

Colleges and Universities

  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, California): The Trojan tailgate is steeped in tradition and adherence to the tailgate policy (see policy.usc.edu) is important BUT following the rules doesn’t mean it won’t be a blast. For family fun, check out the Trojan Family Game Day Experience.
  • University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas): Tailgating for the Longhorns is such a big deal, Texas actually has an official handbook regarding tailgating policies. On game day, you’ll have all kinds of fun from private tailgates and public tailgates and tailgates sponsored by local radio stations. Check out www.do512.com/p/texas-tailgating if you’re planning to cheer the team on this season, or if you’re looking for a reason to tailgate!
  • University of Notre Dame (South Bend, Indiana): The street leading to the stadium becomes lined with mini parties come game day (you may need to know someone to park on a lawn) but there are also several designated tailgate lots. Don’t miss Touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome atop the Main Building. For tailgating information, visit www.gameday.nd.edu
  • University of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin): While the Camp Randall Stadium does not have an official tailgate lot, that doesn’t mean tailgating before a Badgers game is a no-go. Check out the lot at Meriter Hospital or simply walk along Breese Terrace which leads to the stadium and pick the friendliest party. Oh, and don’t cheer for the red and white – the official school colors are CARDINAL and white.

National Football League

  • Green Bay Packers (Green Bay, Wisconsin): The Packers make it look easy, right? We’re talking about tailgating in this case! Check out the Bart Starr Plaza Tailgate Party, which is held before every home game. Everything you need to tailgate is all here for you, at a very reasonable ticket price.
  • Philadelphia Eagles (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania): Lincoln Financial Field has three lots designated for tailgating that open five hours before game time. Keep in mind, the Eagles have been known to have some of the rowdiest fans in the NFL.
  • Dallas Cowboys (Arlington, Texas): Follow the rules and you’ll be just fine tailgating at AT&T Stadium. The benefit here is you can enjoy the tailgate without requiring a ticket to the game.