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Tailgate time

The game is good but it’s really about the eats

Posted: September 24, 2010 2:10 p.m.
Updated: September 24, 2010 2:10 p.m.

Virginia Tech fans tailgate in the FedEx Field parking lot before an NCAA college football game against Boise State on Monday, Sept. 6, 2010 in Landover, Md.

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Though the official start of autumn was yesterday, football fans know "fall" has been happening since the first kickoff in early September. It's just that now, with at least a hint of cooler temperatures in the air, the calls of beer and bratwurst have become much more compelling.

And with the mostly-delightful weather fall brings in SoCal, the partaking of these delights, and others, is enhanced by ingesting them outdoors, prior to entering a stadium for a football game.

Sure you've got all the creature comforts at home, plus a widescreen television - but they show highlights on the scoreboard at games, and the party outside the stadium before the event is the real heaven for football fans. So get out to the game and tailgate!

Now there are football games at all levels and locales, and where your team is, you should be. However, when it comes to tailgating, you might run into some restrictions at many of these venues. But you can let all the stops out at UCLA home games at the Rose Bowl, and USC home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. And when the two teams are playing each other - look out.

At both of these locations you can party with a few friends, truly off your truck's tailgate, or join a larger "tailgate" party with the alumni association or other fan-based groups. Either way, it's all about good times and good food and drink.

Tailgating at the Rose Bowl
UCLA plays its home football games at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and, of course, the Rose Bowl football game is held there every year. There is no official area for general tailgating at the Rose Bowl, but the organized action is on a large scale outside the stadium, and you can surely hold your own tailgate right where you park. Individual tents or pop-ups are permitted for guest tailgating, but no open flames are allowed.

Note: There are no in-and-out privileges at the Rose Bowl. Once you have left the stadium, you may not re-enter. Intoxicated fans in and around the Rose Bowl stadium will be denied entry or will be subject to arrest or ejection from the stadium.

Tailgating at USC games
Tailgating before USC home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum takes place in several locations. The alumni do their tailgating in the parking lots and many different Trojan clubs have designated areas where tents are loaded with drinks and catered food. Students prefer to tailgate on campus.

The SCV's own John Dow (The Dow Group, and member of the city of Santa Clarita Arts Commission) is an experienced USC tailgater, and he offers an important piece of advice: "Come early."

The come early tip applies to any tailgating venue, and the larger the crowd, the earlier you should arrive. Beyond that, you want to be able to fully enjoy your dining and socializing and still get to the game before kickoff.



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