With the first kickoff of the 2019 college football season this weekend, fans across the country are gearing up to pitch tents, let down tailgates, and fire up grills in celebration.
As you prepare for the start of the Alabama Football season, The Alice Maxwell Team has 6 top tailgating tips to help make this your best season yet!
No doubt about it, tailgating should be enjoyable and not stressful. Make sure you give yourself enough time to unload, set up, and enjoy the company around you. The last thing you want on gameday is to be overwhelmed and unable to relax.
There are many things you can do in advance; Request your desired tailgate location, pick your parking lot, and plan your route. Also, pad your timeline! Give yourself two more hours than you think you’ll need – one hour on the front end and one on the back. Doing these things will ensure you spend more time cheering and celebrating your team than you do rushing around finishing last minute details.
To make sure you have time, you need to make sure you’re prepared. From food prep, to packing your vehicle(s), to labeling coolers; these small details will make a major impact on the final product of your tailgate.
Pre-shaping burger patties will not only save you time on the day of the game, but it will also give you a more visual idea of how much food you have to feed your tailgating team. Labeling coolers will help you and your tailgaters know exactly where to find whatever is needed. Having an empty tub for dirty dishes will save you clean up hassle. It will also limit spills and stains on your way back home. Think of all the possible ways you could work ahead of time to make gameday focused on the day’s game.
Check The Connection
This might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. If you’re planning to screen games before, after, or during the game (of course you are!), make sure you’ve got everything you need to make it happen. Do you need a portable satellite? Does the campus/stadium offer free, accessible WiFi for your smart TV?
Do some research to see if all tailgating spots in your team’s town have access to power hookups, or if there are certain processes or suggestions to land a location closer to a power source. The last thing you want is to show up for your tailgate and realize your expectations for game-watching will not be fulfilled.
In terms of both people and food, crowded tailgates are often the best tailgates! Unless you have a specific focus for your tailgate audience, be sure to invite your friends, their friends, and maybe their friends as well! Lots of like-minded fans gathering under one tent brings unparalleled energy, without which no gameday is complete!
Lots of fans gathering under one tent also brings unparalleled appetite. So be sure to bring plenty of food – and then bring some more. No good tailgate should ever run out of food. If your invite list feels bigger than your budget, ask your guests to bring food items with them. People are happy to contribute, especially if you’re rooting for the right team.
With blocked streets, obscured landmarks, and masses of people, it’s often incredibly difficult to hunt down a specific tailgate in a sea of tailgating fans. Add in spotty cell phone service from overcrowded towers and it’s nearly impossible. For the sake of your friends that will not be there for set up, consider adding something distinct to your set up.
A uniquely patterned tent, a personalized flag or banner, or a high-flying helium balloon could greatly benefit the people searching for you in a crowd. Send a text the night before giving your friends a general location of your set up as well as the way your tailgate stands out from the rest.
Pregame With Games
Before the football game starts, there are plenty of other games to be played. Set up corn hole boards, make space to toss a football or clear a spot for a game of spike ball. The air of competition is already strong on gameday, so your tailgaters will be aching to claim every available win.
If you’re looking for a more structured, competitive way to start off the day, create a corn hole, spike ball or beer pong tournament. Have your guests sign up beforehand or as they arrive, then play out the brackets until the game starts or after it has ended. People will love the idea of returning to your tailgate to claim the title of tailgate tournament champ!
There are endless ways to create a fun, successful tailgate – these tips are just our favorite ways to make sure it’s a perfect win for everyone. Happy tailgating and Roll Tide from The Alice Maxwell Team!