Ole Miss Tailgating
The Grove at Ole Miss

Ole Miss

The place to be is “The Grove”. It’s where all the pre-partying happens. The Grove opens at 10 p.m. on Friday, and closes at midnight following the game. Expect thousands of students packed into a mini tent city.

Expected gameday crowd level for area: 60,500 – 62,000

Clemson University

Rules for Clemson tailgating? Wear Tiger Orange, look for the pre-game parties by fraternities, and memorize the lyrics to Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger.

Expected gameday crowd level for area: 80,000 to 90,000

U of MN Frat
Frat row at the Univ of MN Twin Cities

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

TCF Bank stadium is the new home of the Golden Gophers. The whole area offers excellent options for fan interaction. Hit the tailgate lots, frat row, Dinky Town, or hot spots along Washington Ave.

Expected gameday crowd level for area: 50,000 to 60,000

Penn State — University Park

Football fans here create an amazing atmosphere with a tent city that sprouts up around Beaver Stadium the week before a game. Check out Bryce Jordan Center and Medlar Field at Lubrano Park are open for special events before kickoff during home football games.

Expected gameday crowd level for area: 107,000 – 110,000

LSU Football
LSU Tailgating Time

LSU — Baton Rouge

LSU fans set the standard for tailgating. The party and the food are like no other. Be prepared for street closures though. Have a campus map handy, and give yourself plenty of time to meet up with your group.

Expected gameday crowd level for area: 92,000 – 95,000

Ohio State University

A walk through the RV parking near the Schottenstein Center or Jesse Owens Stadium shows the dedication of Buckeye tailgaters. Here’s where you’ll find school buses converted into tailgating palaces and pimped out RVs blaring music. Several establishments on Lane Avenue have parties with live music and other gameday festivities.

Expected gameday crowd level for area: 82,000 – 85,000

TN Football
TN Tailgating Party

University of Tennessee — Knoxville

Fans by the boatload…literally. Hundreds of boats set up along the Tennessee River and fans tailgate on the water. Didn’t bring your water toys? No problem. Fans pack the parking lots surrounding the stadium too and the party rages on.

Expected gameday crowd level for area: 104,000 – 106,000

Texas A&M — College Station

Aggie football fans call themselves the 12th Man and you will find them at the Midnight Yell Practice the night before the game. It is a pep rally held at Kyle Field and draws tons of fans.  Tailgating is is hosted in the northeastern parking lot of Javelina Stadium before each home football game with many student organizations, clubs, and surrounding businesses participating.

Expected gameday crowd level for area: 82,000 – 85,000

University of Alabama — Tuscaloosa

Look for the large gathering prior to each football game at the UA Quad. The school also holds pep rallies on the Gorgas library steps. The Quad has hosted ESPN’s Gameday several times and the is a where fans perform the “Elephant Stomp” to Bryant-Denny Stadium with the Alabama mascot “Big Al” and the Million Dollar Band.

Expected gameday crowd level for area: 92,000 – 95,000

Univ of Washington
Huskies fans doing a little 'Sailgating'

University of Washington

This is yet another school where fans drop anchor and boat-hop during pregame festivities.  If the weather is bad, head towards the stadium and hit up the The north and south parking lots for a dosage of school spirit.

Expected gameday crowd level for area: 72,500 – 76,000

About Jason Bakker

Jason Bakker is a native Minnesotan and has been working in the area of youth marketing for nearly a decade. He currently works with Minneapolis based Campus Media Group as the Director of Marketing and is responsible for following trends in the ever-changing landscape of youth culture and media usage, and for consulting advertising agency and national brand professionals on how to develop integrated marketing programs that reach college youth.


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