When it comes to college football, the celebration starts long before the game does. In fact, many fans never even make it into the game, choosing to prolong the tailgate as long as possible.
If you love a good tailgate (and who doesn’t, really?), here’s what you need to tailgate like a Texan Longhorn country.
Reserve Your Spot
Make sure you have a spot lined up for your tailgating party – otherwise, the whole event will start off on the wrong foot. Tailgating goes down on the east side of I-35 and south of Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. However, securing a spot can be very difficult unless you are a donor to the Longhorn Foundation. You can also try local Craigslist listings, as some people sell their spots if they can’t make it. You don’t necessarily have to tailgate right where the action is happening – try parking lots nearby and take a cab or shuttle to the actual game.
Kill the Food Game
Food is one of the best parts of tailgating. Come prepared with the most delicious Austin tailgating meals on the market – namely, barbecue. Bring a mini grill and supplies if you want to cook during the party. Just make sure the area where you’re parking allows your type of grill. Keep a cooler with lots of ice handy to make sure none of your perishables go bad. Keep your meat, cheese, and any salads with mayonnaise (egg salad, potato salad, macaroni salad) cold. Consider hosting a potluck-style tailgate party, where your guests help out by bringing side dishes while you cook the main course.
Follow the Rules
This tip might night sound very party-hardy, but it’s important to remember to always follow the rules. You don’t want authorities to ruin all your hard work because you or one of your guests violated one of the rules. Here are a few guidelines to follow:
Don’t arrive prior to your permitted arrival time.
Alcohol is allowed, as long as you drink within the confines of the law.
Grilling is permitted, but do not leave fires or coals unattended.
Do not use your grill inside a parking garage or on the sidewalk.
Pets must be controlled with leashes and supervised at all times.
Keep your area clean, and don’t leave a mess behind.
Make sure your guests conduct themselves properly.
Check the University of Texas parking rules (https://parking.utexas.edu/parking/event/football2018) for the most up-to-date version of what not to do while tailgating. University police have the right to terminate any tailgate party for inappropriate behavior.
Join a Public Tailgate
Don’t have the energy to organize your own tailgate? No worries! Many of the University’s groups organize public tailgates for a small admission fee, as do some of the Austin radio stations. Bevo Blvd is the most popular. San Jacinto Blvd. from 20th St. to the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center serves as the location of the tailgate party as of the 2018 season. 104.9 The Horn broadcasts live as fans down $5 domestic beers and wine spritzers. Additionally, there are food trucks, games, photo ops, autograph sessions, and so much more.
You can also toast the team with your fellow fans at Sholz Garten, located at 1607 San Jacinto Blvd.. But, beware, it’s always packed! You should get there early if you want one of the best seats in the house.
Above all, a tailgating party should be fun. Wear UT’s colors, plan some tailgating games, and make sure your guests have a good time. Also, be sure to accommodate any special needs or requests of your guests, such as food allergies or guests who do not drink alcohol. Children are welcome at tailgating parties, as long as adults supervise them at all times.
If you DO plan to attend the game, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Carry a university approved bag. This includes Bags that are permitted include bags that are clear plastic and do not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12”, one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags, and small clutch bags or purses, which do not have to be clear but cannot exceed 4.5″ x 6.5.”
Do not bring any prohibited items. This includes video cameras, professional detachable lens cameras, electronic equipment cases, banners, fireworks, strollers, tripods, alcoholic beverages, coolers, cans, bottles, wineskins, foodstuffs, umbrellas, flagpoles, pets, or artificial noisemakers. For a more detailed list of prohibited items, please see ‘Prohibited items’ in the Texas Athletics fan guides.
Binoculars are permitted however binocular cases are not allowed per the clear bag policy.
Personal chairbacks that do not have any pockets or zippers and do not exceed 12″ x 12″ x 18″ are permitted in the stadium.
For a full list of UT football fan guidelines, click here (https://texassports.com/sports/2013/7/29/GEN_0729133817.aspx).
Now you’re ready to tailgate like a pro. Grab a plate, pop open that drink, and get ready to throw up your horns. It’s time to “hook ‘em!”