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September 16, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles fan Steve Merkin tailgates before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger

Gopher football tailgating and pregame guide vs. UNLV

There’s nothing like the buzz of campus on game day. Before you head to the University of Minnesota for the season opener against UNLV, there are some things you should know in order to make the best of your fan experience.

The tailgate lots are scheduled to open at 2:00 p.m. CT, four hours before the scheduled 6:06 p.m. kickoff at TCF Bank Stadium. Because this is a regular work day for the university, some lots will not be available and others will not be cleared before the game.

Fans that are used to tailgating at the State Fairgrounds and use the shuttle to get to the game are out of luck. Because of the “Great Minnesota Get Together”, the St. Paul tailgate lots will be unavailable and those fans with season parking passes to tailgate lots in the “Capitol City” are instructed to park at the Washington Ave. Ramp.

In turn, there will be no State Fair parking around TCF Bank Stadium, so fairgoers will have to fight for parking around Falcon Heights.

For the first time since the opening of TCF Bank Stadium, students will have their own lot for tailgating. Dubbed the “Victory Lot”, students will have their own spot for seasons to come to express their excitement for Big Ten football on campus. It is located three blocks north of Washington Ave. off 25th Ave.

Students interested in buying a parking pass for the Victory Lot will need to do so via MyGopherSports.com. Only students with season football tickets are allowed to buy parking passes.

As always with events on the university property, there are a set of ground rules for tailgating for Golden Gophers football. The most important thing to know before starting your tailgate is that charcoal grills are not allowed. If you are still planning on making another batch of Tim Brewster’s Famous Chili, then you will need to use gas or propane. In addition, as it is a work day for university employees, there will be plenty of employee vehicles around that will want to leave in the middle of your pregame party. It would be advised that you do not inflate your giant bouncy castle for the UNLV game.

Non-Tailgate Pregame Guide

Stadium Village - 

  • Before you make your trip to Stadium Village this fall, you need to know that the most popular party place of the last decade has closed up for remodeling. Sally’s Saloon & Eatery is down for the count, but not out. Due to apartment construction above, Sally’s will be closed for a year or so and hopefully reopen with more thunder and bigger bathrooms.
  • In the wake of Sally’s slumber, this puts added pressure on area bars and restaurants to step up to the plate. Classics like Stub & Herbs, the Big 10, and Campus Pizza are all ready to welcome you with open arms. Relative newcomers like Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and The Hole Sports Lounge all have the necessary tools to take care of fans of all ages.
  • There have been some recent changes with the fast food and “brisk pace” food joints in the area. The Arby’s on the corner of Huron Blvd. and Washington Ave. is closed. Word is that some more student housing will soon take its place. The corner of Ontario St. and Washington Ave. recently saw one of these high-rises go up and on the ground floor there is a CVS Pharmacy, a Dino’s Gyros, and the Noodles & Co. from next to the Big 10 relocated in between.
  • The newest addition to the neighborhood is MyBurger. Across Oak St. from the McNamara Alumni Center stands a Minneapolis-born burger building with locations also in Downtown and Uptown. The relatively simple menu should be easy for even Hawkeyes fans to figure out. They even deliver, though I doubt they will run your order to the middle of the Victory Lot students. Call and ask first.

Dinkytown -

  • If you haven’t been to Dinkytown since $1 drink nights at Foul Play, then you will need a refresher course on the area. The times are a changin’ and Dinkytown is no different. Blarney Pub & Grill has recently expanded to incorporate their basement and they can pack fans in on game day. The Blarney Bus also shuttles fans from their bar stool to the front door of “The Vault”.
  • Just a block to the west you can go to where Foul Play used to stand and walk into The Library Bar. No library card needed, no ugly librarians, and no dewey decimal system to confuse things. Three floors with plenty of bar space and booths to pack Maroon and Gold laden fans in before and after the game.
  • If you are feeling a bit more exotic before the game, then grab a quesadilla at Burrito Loco. Patio seating is available outside and there are plenty of taps both upstairs and downstairs to wash down that spicy guacamole.

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Tags: Football Gophers Minnesota

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