Football season is in full swing and fans are flocking to stadiums across America. What’s better than cheering for your favorite team at the game alongside fellow fans, friends and family? Tailgating with them, too.
We’ve come up with a few tips to help you put together the ultimate tailgate experience. These tips are focused on the University of Southern California (USC), but really, you could apply them to any school and any team. So, without further ado, here’s our list of tailgate tips!
1. Know the Rules and Restrictions
If you’re thinking of throwing a tailgate party, the first step is to look up the school’s rules and regulations. Many stadiums have established rules for tailgating. For example, USC restricts tailgating parties to Saturday games and allows these events to start no earlier than 6 a.m. and end no later than kick-off, which means no weekday get-togethers.
The University also has regulations in place to manage the size of parties in their parking lot. If your group has 50 or more people, you’ll have to obtain a permit first. You can review USC’s tailgating policy here for specific details.
L.A. Rams fans going to home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum are also allowed to tailgate, but be sure to review the rules.
2. First We Feast
What’s a tailgate party without a good old fashioned barbeque with all of the fixings? Make your prep easy and do it at home. If you have meats to marinate, do it the night before the game. If you’re planning on making kabobs, assemble them at home. Avoid the hassle and prep vegetables the night before and store them in reusable plastic containers. Doing this will help you save time and cut down on trash.
Grilling? Safety first – USC requires you to bring a fire extinguisher. Be sure to clean your grill before use. Simply using a wire brush to scrape the grate will help prevent the food you’re cooking from sticking. Pro-tip: if you clean your grill or barbeque after pre-heating, the food and grease will be much easier to remove.
3. Beat the Heat and Stay Hydrated
Sunny Southern California can have warm temperatures throughout football season, so it’s important to stay hydrated during a long day of tailgating. Stock coolers with water and be mindful of the heat while you’re having fun. Try freezing water bottles, they will stay cold throughout the day and act as ice in your cooler.
USC – like many schools – doesn’t allow glass containers, so bring cups that can be recycled or easily stored away to be cleaned at home for another use.
If you’re planning an all-day event, bringing a pop-up tent to create shade is a smart idea. Tent structures will give party attendees a place to step out of the sun and cool off. Be sure to bring plenty of chairs for people to sit in. Collapsible chairs are easy to set up and move around. Remember to protect yourself from sun exposure and apply sunscreen, and bring an extra bottle with you just in case.
These three tips should ensure that you’re tailgate party goes off without a hitch. So dust off your jersey and show your support for your team, it’s game time!