The University of MInnesota Golden Gophers start their home season at beautiful TCF Bank Stadium on Sept. 8 this year. All along University Avenue, from 35W east to the new stadium, football fans are tailgating. Proudly wearing their maroon and gold, revelers are grilling their favorite mains and sipping on a beverage as they discuss coach Jerry Kill's latest strategy.
Here is the 2012 Tailgating guide for Gopher fans:
Venue: TCF Bank Stadium
Nickname: "The Bank" or "The Gopher Hole"
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Year Opened: 2009
Seating Capacity: 50,805
Tailgating Lots: There are nearly 30 designated tailgating lots throughout the East Bank, West Bank and St. Paul campuses. This university map designates each tailgating areas with a "T." This is useful in determining which lots are for season-ticket passes and which are for single-game access. As tailgating is limited for single-game access, getting to the lot early is important, as these lots fill up fast.
Paid Parking Lot Price: $10 to $20, depending on location of the lot. Park at one of the designated locations for tailgating. The locations in St. Paul, near the State Fair grounds, are cheaper and there is a free shuttle that takes you from the parking lot to TCF Bank Stadium and back.
RV Parking: RV parking is available on gamedays, in St. Paul, at the State Fair Grounds Lot S108, for $40. There is a free shuttle to the TCF Bank Stadium from this lot. RV season ticket holders will park at the Gateway lot. Overnight parking is not allowed.
Tailgating Times: Tailgating can begin six hours before gametime, but not earlier than 7 a.m. Tailgating can continue up to four hours after the game is done, but last no later than midnight.
Tailgating Prohibited Areas: Tailgating is prohibited anywhere beyond the designated tailgating areas, including parking ramps, garages or any other University of MInnesota property. This includes the lawns of the campus.
Grilling and Fire Rules: The rules are very precise as to what is allowed and what is not allowed. Only gas grills with a maximum 20-pound propane cylinder are allowed. No charcoal grills are allowed. Campfires and wood fires are not allowed. No fires made of combustible material are allowed.
Power Generators: Portable generators to run any sort of cooking, heating or entertainment devices, are allowed.
What is Allowed in the Tailgating Area: The grassy area within 15 feet of the lot surface is allowed for enjoying your tailgate experience. Portable outdoor furniture is allowed in the tailgating area. Tents and awnings are allowed, as long as they do not take up a second parking place.
Prohibited in the Tailgating Area: Glass containers or cups are not allowed. Although alcohol is allowed for anyone 21 or over, no kegs are allowed. No loud music or noise. No couches, large chairs and furniture.
Alcoholic Beverages: Alcoholic beverages are allowed at the tailgating areas. Tailgaters 21 and over are allowed to consume alcoholic beverages.
Pre-Game Activities: Three hours before kickoff, McNamara Center hosts a pre-game party with entertainment, big-screen televisions playing college games and football-related games for fans of all ages. There is also a variety of food and beverages available for purchase. Two hours before kickoff, University of MInnesota Gopher fans, the marching band, Gopher spirit squads, former players, and Goldie the Gopher create a tunnel for the football team to run through. This is a lot of fun!
Personal Experience Parking and Tailgating Tips: Tailgating before the game is a long time Minnesota football tradition. Now, with the TCF Bank Stadium, the festive atmosphere is right on campus. There are many tailgate parties along University Avenue at the frat houses there. I find that those are exclusively for friends and members. My advice is to plan where to meet, get there early, grab a grassy area, grill up your favorite specialities, enjoy your tailgate food, and then get out to the stadium area to rev up your team spirit. I find that I am more excited when I hear the music, join in some cheers, and see the team running through the tunnel.
More articles on the Gophers by Georgia Makitalo:
- Sports & Recreation
- TCF Bank Stadium