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TAILGATING 101: The Basics

  1. Dress in team colors!!! Wear a team jersey or t-shirt! You are the 12th man on the team and the 1st player on the Tailgating Team. Show your team spirit. Tailgaters are the best fans!!!!!
  2. Plan your menu and do prep work a day or two before the game. Keep the menu simple and pack prepared food in air-tight containers.  Don’t forget to keep food handling safety in mind throughout food prepping, handling and consuming!!
  3. Make a list of the items you want to take along. Check off items as you pack. Pack paper products (plates, napkins, towels, forks, spoons, etc.) the night before. Remember such items as a small first aid kit, trashbags, water, and damp towels in ziplocks to clean hands, face, utensils or anything else that may need to be wiped off.
  4. Plan to arrive 3 to 4 hours early.  All tailgating lots open four hours prior to game time.  Spaces are limited and first come, first served.  Bring $20 cash (only) to enter.
  5. Fly a flag on a high pole so friends can find you.
  6. Decorate your tailgate site with team pennants and other team stuff.
  7. Meet your tailgate neighbors, throw the football with friends, play Cornhole and have a good time!
  8. Food should be ready 1 and 1/2 hours before the game starts. This is plenty of time for those going to the game to eat, clean up and cool off the grill. Share food with neighbors. Swap recipes.  All tailgating must cease fifteen minutes prior to kickoff, so plan accordingly.  The team wants you in the stands at kickoff!!
  9. Tailgate responsibly.  If you plan on having alcohol at your tailgate, remember that you are in charge of anyone that consumes it.  All local and state laws apply!  Nothing ruins a game day experience like someone that has had too much to drink, so make sure that you and your friends are responsible throughout your tailgating experience.  Keep in mind that anyone that is visibly intoxicated will not be permitted into the stadium.
  10. Leave area clean and as you found it. Begin thinking about food and friends for the next game.  We want the experience to be a pleasant one for everyone involved.  Enjoy your tailgate, but don’t leave it for someone else to clean up after you and your guests.


Make Sure You Can Get Home.After a great tailgate party, some would love to stay in the parking lot forever but everyone might not share that thought. (As an FYI, all parking lots close one hour after the game ends.)

Jumper cables: To prevent your battery from dying mid-party, disable your interior light if you'll be keeping the tailgate open. And start your engine every once in a while if you're using the stereo.  Speaking of sterios – don’t be ‘that person’ with the extremely loud music.  Make sure to allow other parties to enjoy their musical tastes as well, without your music in the background. 

Look to Buy an Inverter: Your cigarette lighter can be used to power a slow cooker, TV, stereo, or other small appliance. Just make sure your inverter is powerful enough for what you need—a 140-watt one won't even run a blender.

Toilet paper. The MVP (most valuable product) of the parking lot. Don't get caught in a Port-A-Potty with no TP.

Plastic trash bags for clean-up. A dedicated tailgater always respects their surroundings and leaves it clean.

Extra ice. There is no excuse to ever run out of ice. Just bring a full extra ice chest and enjoy.

Rain gear. When everybody else is in their car or truck, you'll be cookin'!

First aid kit. Always good to have on hand – just in case you get a blister from playing too much Cornhole!

Sun block. Even if you burn the food, there is no reason for you to burn.

Wet Wipes and/or Hand Sanitizer.  This will be your best friend as you get ready to eat and finish your clean-up.  Make sure to bring extra so that you can be everyone’s best friend!!

A friend. Change the life of a loved one. Bring them to their first tailgate party.

Comfortable shoes. Sometimes we forget how much we visit and with the right shoes you can conquer anything.

Antacid. With all the foods consumed at the tailgate, we need some help.

Plenty of Water. Game days will be long and HOT.  To enjoy the experience to the fullest, you will need to be well hydrated.  Don’t rely on carbonated beverages, alcohol or other liquids to satisfy your thirst.  Make sure to bring plenty for your guests as well!!

Stetson Athletic Department