Football Tailgating Parties Keep Them Safe And Fun

Tips for Safe Football Tailgating

For college football fans, no season is more dear than autumn—rooting for your favorite team, watching the marching band half-time show, enjoying the crisp fall air, and everything kicked off with a marathon tailgate party. 

Unfortunately for many, it's not all fun and games. The time-honored tailgate can be a dangerous place. After all, you are taking a crowded area with a lot of other people, adding in a party atmosphere (usually with a good degree of alcohol consumption).

Tailgating mishaps have become such an issue that many top football schools have taken steps to curb game-day rowdiness. The University of Florida in Gainesville, for example, has a "tailgate policy" warning fans that open containers of alcohol, public intoxication, and rude or harassing gestures directed at opposing teams, among other infractions, will earn overzealous Gator fans a quick escort off university property. Here are five general rules to help fans have a safe and successful football tailgate:

1.) Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption

It is easy to go overboard when you are drinking with a bunch of fellow sports lovers, but imbibing too much can leave you dealing with a massive hangover, alcohol poisoning or even a DUI. Therefore, it is always best to drink responsibly, and you should also strongly consider having a designated driver.

Out-of-town tailgate fans take note: DUI penalties in Florida are particularly severe, warns one Gainesville DUI lawyer, and an arrest and license suspension in Florida will be reported to authorities in your home state even if you are not a Florida resident.

2.) Remain Focused on Children

Even if you do not bring any children with you, there are likely to be a lot of kids present at the tailgating party. Therefore, it is important for everyone to keep any eye out for children so that they are not inadvertently injured or allowed to sneak off with an alcoholic beverage. It is also polite to keep your language clean when there are children nearby.

3.) Keep Rivalries Friendly

It is natural for sports fans of opposing teams to make negative remarks about each others allegiances, but it is a really bad idea to let this become a major issue. If you must pick on each other, make sure that you stick exclusively to the teams and players. After all, if you start personalizing the verbal attacks, it is likely to cause a physical altercation.

4.) Leave Early

Although most sports lovers enjoy staying until the end, it will be much easier to get on the road safely and quickly if you leave even five minutes early. Keep in mind that traffic congestion tends to cause people to drive more erratically, and it is also highly likely that several people will get behind the wheel after they have had too much to drink.

5.) Share the Area Appropriately

Your football tailgating spot is probably going to be filled to capacity, so it is important to be polite by not spreading your items out over multiple spaces. Instead, you should contain your stuff to the small area around behind and around your vehicle so that everyone can enjoy the party equally. As an added bonus, this will also make it easier to avoid arguments with other sports fans. Even though some people might feel like they need to get drunk or start arguments in order to have a successful tailgating experience, it is more important to get home without receiving a DUI or a black eye. Therefore, you should remain cognizant of your actions at all times to help everyone have a good time.

Freelance writer and lifelong college football fan, Catherine Harris, is happy to forward this information on having a safe and fun football tailgate party. She used information and resources from the website of Gainesville DUI lawyer David Katz when preparing this article.


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