A few days ago I got an email from a reader who was able to tailgate prior to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game that was held at Anaheim Stadium. It’s funny how big time events on the field does not translate to an epic tailgate party in the parking lot. I’ll let Johnny explain from his email:
I have been following your website for a couple years now and love it. I found the site searching for tailgating gear and recipes and your site kept coming up. Now its on my “favorites list” and I tune in every few days for new Tailgating Ideas and share them with my fellow Tailgaters. I really appreciate the time you spend on new products and ideas and the commentary on the tailgating community.
I was reading that you didn’t make it to the All-Star game this year and thought I would clue you in a little to the tailgating scene that day. I also had no plans for the All-Star game after I spent months trying to get tickets at a price less than my mortgage. I entered every contest I saw and dropped every desperate hint I could to all the season ticket holders I knew, but no luck. The All-Star game was also on my birthday this year and I only live about 8 miles from the stadium so I knew this only happens once in a lifetime. Well after dragging my feet around the house all weekend my wife surprised me with tickets on Monday and I was like a ten year old on Christmas Eve!
With only about half a day to get ready, we loaded up the bare minimums in the SUV… (Cooler, beer, ice, sunflower seeds, chips, chairs, shade, table, grill, and some bacon wrapped peppers stuffed with cream cheese). A good friend and I headed to the stadium at 12:30 as the gates were set to open at 1pm and we knew there would be a line for the 81st All-Star game. We got to the stadium at 1pm and [there was] nobody in line at the gate… Perfect! We headed for the Big-A and were one of about five cars getting ready. This group of five different cars were the only people for about another two hours! I couldn’t believe it… This was supposed to be huge! A few others straggled into the parking lot and set up some pop up shades and tables over the next couple hours, but that was really it. Around 2pm there was about 50 horse mounted police that came out of the Santa Ana River bed looking for a problem, but none was to be found. A regular Angles game had ten times as many people in the lot two hours before the game.
We traded some bacon wrapped peppers to our neighbors who gave us Jell-O Shots and a Teriyaki Beef Skewer. We talked some smack to a few Doyers fans and someone in an Orioles hat. One guy had a TV set up in the back of his truck because he planned on just watching the game on TV under the Big A. After a few hours of just hanging with nothing really to see in the parking lot, we packed up our stuff a half hour before the game and headed inside. The game was great. The whole buzz of the All-Stars and different teams rubbed off on everyone. But, I have to say I was surprisingly disappointed by the tailgating scene prior to the game. Where was everyone?!?
I attached some pics for you of the sorry looking lot before the game.
(Click images for larger view)