It seems so obvious, but it just dawned on this tailgater last week. The outcome of your tailgate or how much fun you are going to have is most likely determined before you even break out your food, adult beverages, and gear. Yep, all of your tailgating preparation could be all for naught if you park your vehicle in the wrong parking spot.
The moment right after you hand over your cash to the parking lot attendant is so pressure filled. I am talking Billy Joel pressure my friends. Sure you probably don’t feel the butterflies but they should be there. In the matter of seconds you are going to make the ultimate decision which will go a long way in determining the success of your tailgate. The parking spot.
I am sure each tailgater is unique in locating his / her prime spot. Some will focus on the tailgaters around them. Other will focus on how many surrounding empty parking spots there are. If you park in one spot and the spots to your left and right are empty well that means more room to spread out your gear or make the upcoming game of corn hole more challenging.
The goal of this tailgater is to find a spot that gives easy access out of the parking lot following the game. Yep, this guy will sacrifice space or access to eye candy for an open spot next to the entrance / exit of the lot.
I am a fan that almost always stays until the last pitch or snap so not getting stuck in the post-game traffic is of highest importance. The value of such a spot takes on even greater importance on Sunday and Monday night NFL games when the job is waiting for you in a few short hours. In short, I am of the belief that a kick-ass tailgate or nail bitter game (where the home team wins of course) can all be ruined (well almost) by having to sit in post-game traffic out of the parking lot. Throw in a bunch of drunks who probably shouldn’t be driving and hello STRESS.
[Off topic…I have always heard, and not sure if it is true, that the police tend to write out more tickets at the end of month to meet a pre-defined quota. If this is true I have always wondered why they just don’t station themselves outside the parking lot of a completed sporting event. Hello ticket jackpot! I am glad that they don’t but this is truly something that I have been wondering since I was a tailgating virgin.]
OK, back to the point of this post which is more of an open question to you readers…how do you select your tailgating parking spot?
Do you have a standard (or even lucky) location? Do you park near bathroom access (despite the stench and lines)? Or are you super social and look for the ultimate tailgate, where you can mingle and join in on the fun of the tailgates around you?
Oddly enough I found out last Friday that for my entire Philadelphia tailgating life I have been lying to myself. I always thought that I knew the prime real estate for the easiest exit after the game. I went to the game with some new friends last week and found an even better spot to beat the traffic!
Let the comments (PLEASE) begin…