Feeling tailgreat

Everything you need to know about tailgating

Ferris students gathered to tailgate before the home opener Thursday, Sept. 5. The Bulldogs claimed a victory over the Findlay Oilers. Photo by: William Kronlein | Torch Photographer

Gathering together to celebrate a team or an event has always been an important part of American culture and history.

Linked back to the Civil War when Americans traveled to Virginia to see and cheer on the Union or the Confederacy during the First Battle of Bull Run, people have been gathering together to have fun for centuries.

For more than 20 years, tailgating has been a classic tradition before every Ferris football game. And for only $7, students can be part of that tradition.

Tailgating is permitted in parking lots 34, 35, 36 and 37 immediately to the west of Top Taggart Field. During the week, tailgating is not permitted before 5 p.m. due to classes. With the exception of homecoming, which permits four hours, tailgaters can begin their festivities as many as three hours before the game.

Tailgaters are permitted to cook food and have fun until gametime. Once the whistle blows, tailgaters are expected to head in the stadium to enjoy the game. Once halftime hits, people are allowed to return to the parking lot, but must be back in the stadium when the second half starts again.

Many tailgaters, however, actually don’t end up staying to watch the game. A study by National Geographic reported 35% of tailgaters never even attend the game after they tailgate.

Ferris Department of Public Safety (DPS) Assistant Director Captain Gary Green said when it comes to tailgating, the main goal by DPS is keeping everyone safe and respectful.

“You’re going to be in close quarters, kind of jammed in there like sardines and everyone is just trying to enjoy themselves, so we just want to promote that you enjoy yourselves respectfully so that everyone can have a fun experience.” Green said.

Alcohol is permitted, but if the use of alcohol becomes a danger to others, it will be prohibited. Kegs, glass bottles and drinking games are also not allowed during tailgating for safety reasons. Marijuana use is not permitted on Ferris campus and cannot be consumed during a tailgate, despite its legality in Michigan.

All the official rules for tailgating can be found on the DPS page of the Ferris website.

Tailgate Checklist

  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Money to pay for parking
  • Grill
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Games
  • Canopy
  • Seating
  • Snacks
  • Cups
  • Drinks
  • Tables
  • Trash bags
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrella
  • Plates
  • Bottle opener
  • Eating utensils
  • Decorations in team colors

Click here to find fun games to play before the big game.

Click here to see some recipes to make for your next tailgate.