Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Party like a pro

I’ve been tailgating at FAU home games for three years now – the first two as the Student Government official in charge of organizing tailgates for students, and this last year as a student myself. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:

Pay for parking in advanceParking is $5 at the Lockhart Stadium gate, but it’s only $4 in advance. Might not seem like much, but over four home games, you save $4, which is another beer at the game. To buy in advance, call the FAU ticket office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS.

Don’t buy a kegUnless you have at least 50 people who can drink, don’t buy a keg. For one, it’s college – if someone tells you to “pay for it now” and that they will “pay you back later,” that’s a sign that they want free beer. That frequently happens with a keg.

Also, kegs take a lot of preparation: a garbage can, a lot of ice and paper cups. To transport a keg, you need a pickup truck, not a car. It’s really not worth it – and it’s really not that cool unless you’re having a huge tailgate.

Finally, with a keg you’re a target for both the uniformed cops and the undercover officers with nothing better to do then to bust freshmen that can’t hold their alcohol and start yelling obscenities. It’s inevitable that you’ll have someone underage and someone with a fake ID – which means you have someone breaking two laws, not one. You have a good chance of going to jail with them. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Don’t get a keg.

Don’t grillGrilling takes too much preparation as well. To grill, you’ll need charcoal, lighter fluid, a lighter, utensils, paper plates, hamburgers, hotdogs, buns, ketchup, mustard, relish and onions. Instead, go to Publix, buy a foot-long sub and call it a day.

Don’t bring a football or a FrisbeeThis is one part of FAU football that really stinks: You can’t throw stuff around before the game. Why? There’s simply not enough room in the Lockhart parking lot. If you get there early enough, you can get away with it. But once the parking lot fills up, you can’t listen to your music too loud either, because you’re crammed into the parking lot like a pile of football players pouncing on a fumble.

Take advantage of the gas stationsAs you come off of I-95 at Commercial Boulevard and head west towards the stadium, there are two gas stations on your right-hand side. Take advantage of what they have to offer.

“That’s where we always get our ice,” says Dave Guinane of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, who’s been tailgating at FAU games for the past four years.

Find tailgate buddiesIt’s always good to tailgate with a group of people, but don’t plan on “meeting them there,” because it’s almost guaranteed you won’t park next to each other – leaving the mess on the back bumper of one car. Instead, meet somewhere and follow each other to the game. Here’s an idea: Meet at the gas station next to the stadium then drive down the 400-yard long street.

Tailgating hoursUnless you’re a huge fan who loves to talk FAU football with some buddies, don’t get there five hours before kickoff. There’s nothing to do, nothing to look at and it’s hot as hell. For a 4 p.m. game, arriving by 1 p.m. is fine. If you plan on getting there early and “finding someone in the parking lot to tailgate with and talk to,” that’s not going to happen, either. Most fans who aren’t students show up about an hour before kickoff and just walk right into the game.

Usually, fraternities and sororities are there about four hours before kickoff.

“It’s fun getting there four hours early and watching the other tailgates like Rally Alley get set up,” says Guinane.

(“Rally Alley” is a tailgate sponsored by FAU Athletics that has music in a family atmosphere.)

Guinane and Alpha Epsilon Pi are notorious for getting there very early. Back in 2003, during FAU’s playoff run, they arrived at 10:30 a.m. for a 4 p.m. game. æ

Join other tailgates for the first yearEspecially because there are only four home games this year, it might be better just to join someone else’s tailgate instead of trying to pull together your own. It’s a great way to meet people and you don’t have to clean up the mess.

Last season, the alumni office, in conjunction with the Student Alumni Association, hosted a tailgate that was open to everyone. It was $10 for an all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink event. Included in the price were gifts such as pom-poms, tattoos and noise makers.

Student Government usually hosts tailgates as well. Everything at these tailgates are free. However, you will usually find students taking the food and walking elsewhere, instead of sticking around and talking like fans do at the alumni tent. Call SG at 561-297-2395 for more information on this year’s tailgating plans.

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