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View Full Version : 1st time tailgaters - advice needed


Jonathan Lee
07-28-2012, 04:17 PM
Hello all,

Myself (Canadian) and my wife (Norwegian) are new to Houston and have never been to an NFL game or even tailgated...and that needs to change.

For the upcoming seasons we've secured 4 x tickets and 2 x blue parking lot passes to the Jaguars game on Nov. 18th.

To make the game day & tailgating experience all the more enjoyable - we'd appreciate your input on the following:

1. We plan on arriving and setting up early...7 am? Any recommended areas of the blue lot to set-up in? We want to be close to the action...but perhaps not directly "in it".

2. I understand with 2 parking passes our "real estate" is limited to two 8 foot by 16 foot spots. Are there any restrictions to vehicle parking orientation? We are driving a Dodge Minivan (6 ft wide x 15.5 ft long). Ideally we would park the van sideways across the back portion of the two spots, and have the front for chairs, pop tent, small smoker, etc. Is this configuration possible?

3. We have a little baby girl...she will be 4 months old when game day comes on Nov. 18th. We'd love to take her along if possible - even ordered little ear protectors. Does anyone have any experience with bringing a baby along on game day?

Thanks in advance,

Jonathan & Marianne

SheTexan
07-28-2012, 10:50 PM
Well Jonathan! I park in Platinum so might not be a lot of help with what goes on in the Blue lot, or where the most action might take place. The Blue lot does not open until 8am, Platinum is the only lot that opens at 7a. Get in line early if you want a good spot. I think the first hour you can pretty much park where you want, after that, the parking guys tell you where to park.

You should be in good shape with two passes. You can park anyway you choose and still have plenty of room. There is an area in front of each parking space marked with a blue line. You can't go over that line.

As for the baby, thats a personal choice. A lot depends on where your seats are. If they are in the Bullpen I would be very careful. Fans can get a little crazy there, esp against a division rival. Fans stand up most of the game and get a little WILD! Someone else will have to instruct you about the other areas of the stadium, I just don't know if a lot of people bring babies or not.

Anyway you look at it, I think you will have a GREAT time! You will be a part of the finest tailgaters in the entire NFL!! Houston ranks #1, and that's a fact!! Welcome to Houston!

NitroGSXR
07-28-2012, 10:56 PM
Hello all,

Myself (Canadian) and my wife (Norwegian) are new to Houston and have never been to an NFL game or even tailgated...and that needs to change.

For the upcoming seasons we've secured 4 x tickets and 2 x blue parking lot passes to the Jaguars game on Nov. 18th.

To make the game day & tailgating experience all the more enjoyable - we'd appreciate your input on the following:

1. We plan on arriving and setting up early...7 am? Any recommended areas of the blue lot to set-up in? We want to be close to the action...but perhaps not directly "in it".

2. I understand with 2 parking passes our "real estate" is limited to two 8 foot by 16 foot spots. Are there any restrictions to vehicle parking orientation? We are driving a Dodge Minivan (6 ft wide x 15.5 ft long). Ideally we would park the van sideways across the back portion of the two spots, and have the front for chairs, pop tent, small smoker, etc. Is this configuration possible?

3. We have a little baby girl...she will be 4 months old when game day comes on Nov. 18th. We'd love to take her along if possible - even ordered little ear protectors. Does anyone have any experience with bringing a baby along on game day?

Thanks in advance,

Jonathan & Marianne

Park near the exits or better yet the exit by the highway or you'll be stuck in the lot for a long time after the game. Traffic gets deadlocked inside the lots. I don't think you can park that way but I am not an authority on it. Bring your baby but since this is your first game... I'd say find a babysitter if possible just so you can get your ears wet. Bringing your baby is a lot of work. I often bring mine but I'm a vet to the gameday scene. He's 3 now and has his own seat for the first time this year, He always sat in our laps.

OzzO
07-29-2012, 02:19 PM
J Lee, my 2 cents....

First congrats on your first game and also tailgating. You made the right call to make tailgating part of your gameday experience.

Nov 15th - not sure what kind of weather you'll get that day (hot, rainy, or nice fall day) so just keep an eye on it as you get closer.

SheTex correct that blue lot doesn't open till 4 hours before the game - some people still arrive early and wait in line in their cars. I find if you get there right at 8:00, you should still be fine.

As for recommended areas - if you're tailgating, you're in the recommended area. Think of it as a big ol party with your neighborhood and everyone is outside grilling. There's 2 or 3 entrances to the blue lot if I recall correctly and you'll follow a certain path to a certain area of the blue lot. I think it's the entrance off the feeder or first entrance off Kirby (street) will get you to the better areas. If I recall correctly, the "main" blue lot entrance will take you further away from Kirby.

If you can swing it, talk nice to the parking attendants, or just make a run for it - try to get near the trees or grass, in close proximity of the port-o-lets, and close proximity of an exit (though not vital, depending how long you hang out after the game)

Usually, you won't be able to park "across" the 2 parking spots, you'll have to pull in. Makes it easier for you to get out anyway as cars will be on each side of you. I suggest one spot for the car then use the adjacent spot to tailgate in. Make sure you have both parking passes displayed on the rear view mirror.

Do a quick setup and make sure to walk around a bit. Most are real friendly and sometimes offer what they're cooking for a taste. If you offer a beverage in appreciation, even better.

As noted above, nothing against the junior fans... but you'll have less stress and possibly more enjoyable tailgate & game if you don't bring the baby.

I usually start breaking down casually about an hour before kickoff (depending on how much you've got) so the group can start heading in approx 30-40 minutes before kickoff. Make sure you get in your seats in time for player intros - you'll love it.

Some good info in this thread also: first tailgate advice (http://www.texanstalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93412)

TxDavid
07-29-2012, 03:24 PM
My suggestion - don't get there way early. Plan to arrive at 8:30am - and here's why.

Most large groups must fight for their real estate, and I know there's kind of an unwritten law that says "this is our spot". These people start lining up way before 7am - and the gates do not open until 8am. By 8:30, the mad rush is over, and you can park anywhere you want as long as you are in the lot prior to 9am.

Another suggestion is to forgo the madness, and just come in around 8:30a & park close to the Platinum Lot. Then roll on over to the Blue Crew Tailgate. We're an open invite group, and we have a big canopy & a grill for anyone to use. Then you can get an idea of the way everything works, as well as walk around & see other tailgates. WARNING: One trip, and you're hooked. It's very addicting!

Joe Texan
07-29-2012, 03:28 PM
Welcome to the Texans parking lots
Whatever you do do it big remember you are in Texas. I see you already have that mindset what with two passes. You advise to come without the baby should be for the first game to get you used to what your doing. Set up and be friendly to all it makes better for a friendly tailgate. The light blue shirted people are either for you help or Titan fans. The Helpers are there for you and to be used if you need help for anything. You will catch on quickly and be an old pro by your second game, only problem is you will be hooked so get ready for some
Football

76Texan
07-31-2012, 05:01 PM
Guy & gal with an unborn baby girl wanting to experience a nice tailgating environment for the upcoming season.

Sounds like very good qualifications to me.

You must tell us more about yourself, Jonathan!

There are a lot of nice/cool tailgaters on this board, some already post in this thread.

76Texan
07-31-2012, 05:06 PM
Welcome to the Texans parking lots
Whatever you do do it big remember you are in Texas. I see you already have that mindset what with two passes. You advise to come without the baby should be for the first game to get you used to what your doing. Set up and be friendly to all it makes better for a friendly tailgate. The light blue shirted people are either for you help or Titan fans. The Helpers are there for you and to be used if you need help for anything. You will catch on quickly and be an old pro by your second game, only problem is you will be hooked so get ready for some
Football

It's kinda weird, but I learn to appreciate Big Joe a little more each day.

Jonathan Lee
08-01-2012, 11:08 PM
SheTexan, NitroGSXR, Ozzo, TxDavid, Joe Texan, & 76Texan,

Thanks for the replies & information...it seems like tailgating is one of those things not to overthink...be friendly and considerate to your neighbors and everyone has a good time.

We are very much looking forward to the game. We have the CFL in Canada...but the game day experience cannot come close to the NFL and its fans. Hockey is the religion up North. BTW...go Aeros.

Thanks again,

Jonathan & Marianne and lil' Olivia