5 Tailgate Tips for Game Day

Monday, August 12 at 08:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Can you feel football season in the air? For many fans, tailgate parties are an essential part of game day! They give us the chance to share a meal with friends, socialize and energize before we head into the stadium to root for our team.

Try these five expert tips to help you prep for an awesome tailgate experience.

1. Plan the right food. A tailgate won't last very long without delicious hot food! Keep in mind that you're cooking for people who are going to be mingling and playing games. Cook mostly things that don't have to be eaten sitting down or with utensils – like ribs, chicken wings, kebabs, hotdogs, etc.

Scott Backstrom, founder of www.TailgateMaster.com, recommends sticking to the most basic tailgating foods, especially for first-timers.

"Dogs, burgers, chili are easy and go well with frosty beverages," he says. "Making the menu simple makes the whole process of setup and teardown quicker and more painless."

Taylor Mathis, author of "The Southern Tailgating Cookbook," recommends practicing at home.

"If you're trying out a new smoking technique, practice it," he says. "Don't wait until game day to have your first run.”

2. Bring entertainment. Remember to tote along some distractions to keep your friends busy while you're cooking. Games like cornhole or ladder golf are go-to’s for tailgating because they can be played with one hand.

You can also set up a TV with a gas generator and turn on the pregame show.

"I see a lot of people who actually don't go to the game," says Mathis. "They just watch their games at the tailgate."

3. Dress like you mean it. "[People] want to show that they're the best fan in the parking lot and are going to be the best fan in the stadium," says Dave Lamm, creator of www.TailgatingIdeas.com.

Fans don humongous hats, crazy wings, painted shoulder pads, and signed player jerseys. Some will even wear face paint and costumes. While you certainly don't have to go that far, make sure you're at least wearing the right colors.

4. Know the stadium rules. It's worth learning your stadium’s regulations, so you’re prepared to have fun without inconveniences.

Know what time the parking lot gates open, for example. You don't want to show up an hour early and have to sit in your car waiting. Know how much parking costs. Bring some extra cash in case you find a cash-only parking lot.

If you’re planning to bring a charcoal grill verses propane, make sure your stadium allows it. In some cases charcoal grills may be prohibited.

As a San Diego Chargers season ticket holder, Lamm is aware of the glass ban at Qualcomm Stadium. He always brings plastic cups on game day so visitors who brought glass bottles won't get smacked with a $200 fine.


5. Keep it positive. We're all tailgating to have a good time. It's important to respect everybody, regardless of team affiliation, and help maintain a safe, friendly environment.

If a fan of the opposing team parks next to you, like it or not, you'll be in close quarters for a while. Some good-natured trash talk is better than a long awkward silence. Just don't let it go overboard. There might come a point when you'll depend on your tailgating neighbors.

"If you forgot the mustard you can't just pull up stakes from your tailgating space and go down the street to the convenience store," says Lamm. "You go next door. You go to your tailgating neighbor. Even if they're wearing a different colored jersey."




Tags: game day
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