Is it really football without a tailgate party? Not in my book! In my travels to watch college football, I’ve learned that the Oregon Ducks fans take game-watching and tailgating to new heights. Eugene’s Autzen Stadium has, in fact, been consistently rated as one of the best places in the U.S. to enjoy a football game (and a tailgate party).
Wondering what lifts Ducks tailgating above the flock and what you need to know to plan your own party in the parking lot? Allow me to share my Oregon Ducks tailgating experience.
Where Can We Tailgate at Autzen Stadium?
One treasured tradition is the tailgate party held every game day at The Mo (Moshofsky Center). Food and drink, pregame radio broadcasts and the marching band, cheerleaders and football team parading down the center aisle elevate Duck fever before those home games.
Donors to the Ducks Athletic Fund also have priority parking close to the stadium, complete with tailgating privileges. There is no shortage of team spirit as the fans who sustain Oregon’s athletic programs party before the game.
Another interesting option for tailgaters who want someone else to manage the details is to reserve a tent in Tailgate Alley. What I learned by talking to my fellow fans was that Ducks fans can reserve the tent, tables, chairs and coolers and then bring in their own food, or they can hire catering through the vendor for a turnkey party experience.
Another popular tailgating choice is parking in one of the three lots, managed by Boy Scout Troop 100, across the street from the stadium. The parking fees benefit local youth charities, so it’s a win-win. Tailgating in these lots is subject to the same rules on alcohol, smoking and open fires that all Ducks tailgaters must follow.
When I strolled through a Troop 100 parking lot, I noticed that Oregon fans don’t hesitate to bring their own special flair to tailgating. Giant sandwiches, hot appetizers, crazy colorful desserts and full-on grilling specialties like Ducks-themed burgers were just a few of the ways the faithful were warming up to watch football. All in all, it’s a good way to socialize with fellow fans and get the pregame adrenaline pumping.
Special Notes for Ducks Tailgating
A couple of things anyone coming to a Ducks football game should consider — Eugene’s public smoking ordinance applies to parking lots, so remind your guests not to smoke at your tailgate party. Also, public alcohol consumption is regulated, meaning that you can’t consume alcoholic beverages until four hours before kickoff time and you must stop drinking as soon as the game is over. In the stadium itself, alcohol is limited to special pavilions where it’s dispensed by licensed vendors.
The parking lot locations I mentioned have game-day exception waivers to allow fans to enjoy adult beverages, within the time restrictions. Might not be what you’re used to, but I found it sure cuts down on obnoxious behavior in the stands.
Whether you shuttle in from your hotel, enjoy the party at The Mo or tailgate in a parking lot, it’s a college football fan’s delight. Give yourself the treat of supporting the Ducks and find out why few schools have perfected the fan experience as well as the University of Oregon.