Tailgating is an awesome way to ramp up the excitement of the fall football season and celebrate your favorite team with like-minded friends (and strangers!). Whether you’re rooting for the Volunteers, the Commodores, the Tennessee Titans, or getting behind any SEC team that’s playing, we’ve got some tips to make it a tailgate to remember.
Getting Ready for a Football Tailgate: Tips to Make it Epic
1. Plan it!
Following pandemic restrictions of the last couple of years, it pays to think ahead. Be sure to check and see if tailgating is allowed at the stadium and if there are any open flame policies you need to heed. Don’t forget to have a peek at the weather too—there’s nothing worse than trying to grill in the rain! If you’re still game, pack some umbrellas and rain gear.
2. Time it!
Once you arrive and find a spot, the first thing you need to do is start up the grill. Charcoal takes a little longer, so be sure to bring appropriate lighting gear, like a chimney and barbeque lighters. Organize it so you have plenty of time to get the grill going, cook the food, eat, and put your stuff away—or else you’ll miss the kickoff! Your grill will need some time to cool down, too, so factor that in, plus the time you’ll need to get to your seats.
Fill your cooler with all your favorite drinks, including non-alcoholic beverages and water. Bring plastic cups or choose drinks in aluminum cans—glass can break, and you don’t want to spend your time cleaning up. If you decide to bring cocktails, like Bloody Mary’s, think about pre-mixing them so you can just pour and enjoy. And don’t forget the ice! You’ll need clean ice to cool your drinks as well as ice in the cooler itself, best to keep them separate for hygiene’s sake.
4. Encourage Team Spirit!
Ask anyone who’ll be joining you to bring a food item to share. This will reduce the amount of work you have to do and ensure lots of variety for everyone. If you want to make sure there are no duplicates, ask your friends to post what they’re bringing on your Facebook page or get a group chat going to share ideas.
5. It’s The Little Things That Matter!
Here is a list of items you can’t forget to bring:
- Bug spray
- Folding chairs
- Paper napkins
- Paper towels
- Tupperware container for utensils
- A tub for dirty dishware (to keep the mess out of your car)
- Trash bags
- A metal bucket for cooling your spent coals
- A separate cooler for raw meat
- Blankets or warm clothing
Get in the mood and show your team spirit by decking out your vehicle with your team’s merchandise. And don’t forget to get your game face on—make sure your outfit matches your team’s colors so other fans can identify you easily!