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There are few events in life quite like a live sporting event. From the energy of the crowd to the excitement on the field, going to see your favorite team play live can almost feel like a religious experience. 

For many sports fans, gameday begins once they arrive at the stadium parking lot to celebrate with other fans before the event ever begins. 

Here are some tips for planning a tailgating party that will have you ready to cheer your squad to victory.

Picking Your Spot

A parking lot can be a warzone, with people in constant competition to find the best parking spot. When the stadium opens its parking lots, there will be a mad scramble to snatch up all the prime spots. 

Some amenities to look for when finding your spot include proximity to the stadium, trash cans, a hot coal disposal site, and any shade to help block the sun.

But just as there are things you want to be near, there are other annoyances that you want to avoid. These include any porta-potties, people smoking, and the loud music of others.

Awesome Activities

There are many tailgating activities that you can participate in to help get you into the spirit. Backyard party games like cornhole (sometimes called “bags” or “sack toss”) and spikeball can be a great way to pass the time while also potentially getting to know your parking lot neighbors. 

If you’re of legal age, many popular drinking games can easily be played at a tailgate party as well, such as beer pong. One novel idea is to set up a photo booth station, so your fellow party-goers can have a picture to remember the day by.

Making the Menu

Let’s be honest here—the real reason most go to tailgate parties is the food. All these tips for planning a tailgating party will be for naught if the food isn’t just right, meaning that creating the right menu can be the difference between parking lot glory and fast-food infamy. 

The obvious main event for any proper tailgating menu is the meat. Going to your local butcher shop or having the meat shipped directly to you is the best way to get the freshest sausages, hamburgers, chicken wings, and BBQ ribs. 

Other pregame favorites include chili, macaroni and cheese, and nachos. Plus, a cooler full of beer can be a great way to meet fellow fans and to celebrate the day with friends. 

Conversely, having additional beverage options that don’t contain alcohol can help you pace yourself throughout the day and allows you to bring your children if you would like.

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