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Get Ready: Tailgating by the Experts


By Paul Feinberg '85

Published Oct 1, 2006 12:00 AM

Anyone who has ever strolled across the Rose Bowl on an autumn Saturday knows UCLA tailgaters are a varied breed. There are the wine-and-cheesers who would be just as comfortable in a box at the Hollywood Bowl; the guy with the smoker who’s convinced no tailgate is complete without pulled pork; the RV bunch, the keg crews and even the party-crashers.

Open Gates

The UCLA Alumni Association plans a number of tailgates for road games and viewing parties for out-of-town fans who can't make it to the games. For information, log on to tailgates. Here are two of this season’s highlights:

Nov. 4, UCLA vs. UC Berkeley. Bay Area Bruins will host at Berkeley. For more information, log on to ClubsComm/Regional/ BayArea.

Oct. 14, UCLA vs. Oregon. Bruin Bash tailgate at the University of Oregon. For more information, log on to ClubsComm/Regional/ Oregon.

That variation makes it tough to define the perfect tailgate. But a panel of (OK, self-appointed) tailgate experts serves up these hints.

Get An Early Start: The parking lots at the Rose Bowl open at 6 a.m. for 12:30 p.m. kickoffs. Most Bruin fans arrange their tailgate on the Brookside parking lot, which holds the most cars. But the real action is in parking lots on the southern end. Dedicated tailgaters arrive there at 5:30 a.m. to ensure a spot in the front row of Lot H and more room to set up their party. For later games, savvy tailgaters arrive seven hours before kickoff. Adds one tailgate veteran: "We used to tailgate on the golf course, but while it's nicer under your feet, it doesn't have the same exciting vibe."

Bring A Flag: To mark your turf.

Keep It Simple: A tailgate setup that takes more than 30 minutes to break down is too much; you've got to put it away before you head over to the stadium. E-Z Ups are a must. Bring plenty of trash bags. Spread the tailgate jobs among everyone in your party. Create a setup crew, a cooking crew, a cleanup crew. Know the cooking time of your entire pre-game repast.

Be Creative: If you're getting to the stadium hours before kickoff, you'll need some way to catch those all-important, out-of-town scores. The best suggestion we heard was packing a generator to power your TV and satellite dish.