Michigan, Tailgating

Your Foolproof Guide to Tailgating in Michigan

An expert at tailgating, 69-year old Robert Elgin,  is an alumnus from Michigan. He moved to Ann Arbor when he retired ten years ago. Interestingly, he and his wife even have the same tickets his in-laws had way back when the stadium was built. He and his family have made tailgating a family tradition. So, here are his tips and tricks to have fun at the Ann Arbor for the new tailgaters.


You will need a couple of heaters. The best kerosene heater will do the trick if you are tailgating. They consume less fuel; one liter of fuel will keep you warm for about five hours. Plus, they are easy to use.

You will also need tents, rain gutters, and side curtains. A large grill would come in handy, too, and plenty of seating as well.


The first concern is where to park. Elgin says that the best place to park is at the athletic parking or also known as the Blue Lot. It is the lot next to the Stadium.


You should have someone arrive early at the parking space. Preferably he should be there before 6:00 a.m. so that he can reserve spaces for you to park later. There aren’t any assigned spaces though, so make sure to check who owns the space beforehand. Plus, it is also quite hard to get a blue pass.

No Reservation

The University does not grant a lot of passes and only gives them to those who already have a spot. Hardcore tailgaters usually arrive three to four hours before a lunchtime game. They would arrive seven hours before a 3:30 p.m. one as well. Those who are tailgating alone generally just accept any open space that is available or vacant. It is better, therefore, to arrive hours earlier to ensure you have a spot.


You should have a number of Michigan items on you. You can start with a jersey or shirt that was signed by a player. You can also have your name printed on a jersey as well. You should at least have a new item every year. You cannot have too many Michigan items that you can show off at a tailgate.   You can hang flags and banners. You can even have the tailgater’s name on the banner.


Most tailgaters are open to inviting everyone and anyone who wants to eat, You can literally just stop and ask for food or drinks. Most fans would do the same. You will have a variety of food to choose from. The food is usually pre-cooked and heated at the tailgate. You can have buffalo wings, pulled pork, fried chicken, meatballs, and many more.  Be sure to have a huge appetite when you are at a tailgate.

Things to bring

The first thing that you should bring with you to a tailgate is your football knowledge. You will be participating in a lot of conversations about the sport. So be prepared to strike a wonderful conversation with almost anyone.


If you are new to tailgating, walk around the parking area. See what other people are doing. You can soak up the atmosphere better that way. You will see donuts or chafing dishes on tables. It will also be easier to meet new people. The best part of tailgating is meeting new people from all walks of life and sharing interests with them. Have fun and enjoy the food. You can literally talk about anything under the sky, well except for politics anyway.

You should expect a lot when you tailgate. Furthermore, you will get to see a huge display of Michigan pride plus a lot of food and drinks. You will also do a lot of socializing as well. Michigan has a long and proud history of successful teams. Rather than a rallying cry, be ready to sing and cheer to the Michigan anthem of football.

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