Talk about close quarters. At any tailgate, you must mingle with fellow fans, friends, and a few enemies before you enter the stadium. Before a game, the spirits are high for everyone—anything could happen! Responsible tailgaters should work hard to keep up the good vibes for themselves and those around them. Here are eight good neighbor tailgate tips to follow:
1. INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Start off game day on the right foot by giving a friendly hello to your neighbors—even if they’re cheering for the rival team. You’d be surprised how much more willingly they’ll tolerate your shenanigans now that they “know” you. And if they’re on your side? Perhaps you’ll conspire together to make your next tailgate even greater!
2. SHARE THE LOVE. Be it a beer bottle opener, a lighter, or a set of tongs, your neighbors are bound to have forgotten something. Do them a solid and let them borrow what they need. Someday, when you forget something, the universe will reward you for your kindness.
3. BE AWARE OF YOUR MUSIC. If your neighbors aren’t blasting their own tunes, turn up yours—but make sure it’s appropriate for those kids who are running around. If the tailgate next door is jamming to their own music, try to find that perfect volume balance. At the very least, angle your speakers toward your party.
4. CONSIDER THE WIND WHILE YOU GRILL. Before you set up your grill, consider which direction the smoke will blow—in your neighbor’s face? Not good. At a crowded tailgate, it might not be possible to please everyone, but be considerate when you can.
5. LABEL YOUR CUPS AND YOUR COOLER. If you’ve set up your tailgate in tight quarters, it may become unclear which cooler belongs to what party and whose cup is whose. Make it easy by asking your guests to write their names on plastic cups with permanent markers. Writing your last name on your cooler should help clear some confusion.
6. SAFELY PUT OUT YOUR CHARCOAL GRILL. Coals will stay hot for hours, and even though you want to go into the game to see kickoff, you can’t leave a hot grill unattended. Dump hot coals and ashes in an aluminum pan (leftover from your food) and use melted ice from the cooler to pour over the coals. Some stadiums provide metal cans for disposing cooled coals.
7. FOLLOW THE RULES. Search the facility’s rules online before attending the tailgate. You never know what the restrictions could be—like no open flame grills or entry only two hours in advance. The unwritten tailgating rules always include cleaning up after yourself before the game begins and once again before you leave. It’s like camping—everything you brought in should be brought out or thrown away.
8. BRING YOUR OWN GARBAGE BAG. Speaking of cleaning up, part of that will depend on how many garbage bags you bring. Unless you’ve conveniently parked near a very large garbage can—which you probably wouldn’t want to do anyway because of the smell—keep your trash contained so the wind won’t blow it onto your neighbor’s party.
If you follow these 8 good neighbor tailgate tips you are guaranteed to have a good time in the parking. Unfortunately, once the game begins we can’t guarantee that your team will win.