Tailgating Tips for Beginners

Keep these simple tips in mind for your first tailgate

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Tailgating parties can get pretty crowded, so be prepared for that.

Tailgating is a popular pastime for all avid sports fans, and it’s delicious as well as fun. Typically, a tailgating party takes place in the parking lot of a sports stadium either before or during the game, and food is served from the trunk of cars. Standard menus include a variety of grilled foods, burgers and hot dogs of course, and lots of beer.

Tailgating is a huge culture and, although it’s fun, people are as serious about tailgating as they are about their teams. For first-timers, the whole process can be a little daunting. How do you cook out of your trunk? Is it okay to share food with other tailgaters? What are the tailgating hacks you should know? ? We’ve gathered up some choice tips for novice tailgaters, so you don’t worry about anything except your food and the game.

Do Your Research

Most stadium parking lots let tailgaters bring alcohol, but make sure you know all the stadium rules beforehand. You don’t want to risk being thrown out on your first try. Also, know where and when you are going to meet up with your friends. You might want to look into reserving parking spots, if your stadium does that and you’re willing to spend the money.

Show Some Pride

After all, you’re here to celebrate your team with food and drink. Set up a table with a festive tablecloth, wear your team jerseys and hats, even paint your face and body if you’re feeling extra prideful. But beware of team rivalries. Tailgating can get pretty intense, so expect some taunting from tailgaters supporting the opposing team. It’s all in good fun though. 

Get the Essentials

You’ll need to have all the essential tailgating goods before you can even start. That means a portable grill, plenty of charcoal, a big cooler filled with ice for drinks, and folding chairs. It will be a real bummer if you’ve left some key item at home. Check out this list of tailgating essentials to make sure you have everything you need.

Bring Plenty of Food

Make sure you have enough to feed your party, and your neighbors. Sharing food and drinks is common at tailgating parties, and it would be rude to refuse food to neighboring tailgaters. Also, keep snacks on hand so people have stuff to munch on while they wait for the main dish to cook.

Mingle

As we said before, tailgating is a culture and it’s all about celebrating your team with other fans. Don’t just stick to your party, but mill about, meet new people, and talk about the game. You’ll make some new friends and you’ll have a great time doing it!

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