In the world of sports, tailgating is one of the most beloved American traditions. FSUPD defines a tailgate as a gathering that occurs in designated parking areas surrounding the university’s football stadium before and after scheduled home games. It’s essentially the pre-party before the main event. While the specific origins of tailgating remain up for debate, it’s considered one of the most popular social gatherings in sports!
During college football season, students, parents, and locals all gather to enjoy a pre-game meal, throw back some drinks, and show off their team spirit! At most tailgates you’ll find essential items like grills, coolers filled with beer, lounge chairs, and tents displaying their favorite team’s banner.
Tailgating is especially important in the heart of Tallahassee. Whether you’re a student, alumni, or just a resident wanting to cheer on your local college football team, it’s important to have the backstory on what makes FSU tailgates the best in the nation. We’ve provided you with some Garnet & Gold lore, along with a list of some of the best places to tailgate on and off-campus around Tally. Are you ready for the next FSU gameday?
Part of what makes FSU football so great is the amount of heritage and care that’s gone into creating the fanfare of Tally’s football lore. If you’re preparing for the 2024 college football season in Tallahassee, make sure you’re aware on all the Seminoles’ rituals:
The Doak S. Campbell Stadium, or the “Doak” is the home stadium for the FSU Seminoles. The massive field holds over 80,000 guests and is considered one of the largest brick structures in the world! This is the central meeting place after a tailgate, where excited FSU fans pile into Doak to cheer on the ‘Noles for the next 3.5 hours of football. Make sure to check out the bronze Unconquered statute and the spear lighting ceremony before the game starts!
When you go to an FSU game, you’ll see depictions of the Seminole tribe. Unlike other universities, FSU doesn’t have a mascot. Instead, the university has honored the Seminole Tribe of Florida for over 70 years by displaying the community’s historic symbol. Make sure you’re geared up to match the historic public declaration in support of FSU’s team.
With the support of the Seminole Tribe, FSU has maintained the tradition of Osceola and Renegade at their home matches. Just before an FSU football game starts, “Osceola” leads the team onto the field while riding the spotted horse, Renegade. The dynamic duo heads to the 50-yard line, where Renegade rears up for Osceola to throw the flaming spear into the turf. This is the tell-tale sign that the FSU game is about to begin!
Every Friday night before an FSU home football game, thousands of Seminoles fans head to CollegeTown for the official tailgate event for FSU! The event features live music, onsite vendors, and special appearances! This is the perfect event to check out before a Saturday home match.
The official soundtrack of FSU football is provided each gameday by the Marching Chiefs. Unbelievably, there are more than 400 FSU students who make up the university’s marching band! This creates a powerful sound effect that is guaranteed to get fans up on their feet and cheering throughout the game!
Dating back to the 60’s the Marching Chiefs would play a cheer called “Massacre.” Fast forward several decades to the 80’s, where students began joining in on the “war chant,” which turned into an undying school tradition! Whenever you’re at an FSU game and you start hearing the war chant, make sure to join in! And don’t forget to add the fan-favorite Tomahawk Chop!
The official colors of the FSU football team are garnet and gold! Each game day, you’ll be surrounded by a sea of fans donning their best reds and golds to support the Noles. There’s even a tradition of two FSU students getting decked out in garnet and gold glitter from head to toe—it’s a sight you won’t want to miss! Also make sure to check out FSU’s Garnet & Gold game, the university’s annual Spring football event.
The most optimal tailgating spots are reserved for Booster members, with prices ranging from $300 to $6,000 for eligible parking spots directly next to Doak. We understand that this can be pricey and limited for many students and football lovers. So, what are the tailgating option for Seminoles fans who aren’t considered Boosters?
Still not sure what to get up to before an FSU football game? Check out all our favorite restaurants and happy hour specials around Tally. You’re bound to find a great local spot to hangout and watch the game!
Now that you know all the best tailgating spots around Tally, make sure to follow these tips to ensure a safe and exciting FSU game day experience:
Doak has handicap access available at all gates. On a game-by-game basis, there are also a limited number of wheelchair and handicap parking spots available.
FSU fans who need disabled parked must apply for the parking program for all home games. You can find disabled parking in the Pensacola Street Garage, along with complimentary shuttle buses that will take you to and from the stadium! Shuttles begin running 2 hours prior to the game’s kickoff. Find out more about applying here.
FSU regulations state they do not support nor condemn those of legal drinking age from drinking at tailgate events. However, there is a strict no drinking policy for any student or fan under 21. Once in the stadium, fans can purchase alcoholic beverages from Doak’s concession stands and take them back to their seat in the stadium. Beer sales are cut off in the main stands at the beginning of the 4th quarter.
Before going into Doak, make sure what you’re carrying is allowed into the stadium. Fans are limited to one small clutch no bigger than 4.5” x 6.5” or a clear, plastic bag no bigger than 12” x 6’ x 12” inside the stadium; attempting to bring a bag that is not clear or is bigger than the allotted size will not be allowed inside Doak.
In the sunshine state, it’s important for students and gameday goers to have a spot to cool off. FSU provides cooling stations in the main concourse outside of sections 28 and 118.
If you’re planning to park and tailgate for an FSU home game, it’s important that you abide by the regulations set out by FSUPD. Some of the parking rules include:
Refer to FSU’s Football Game Day Parking Map to find an appropriate parking spot.
Once you’ve got the parking spot secured and the tent set up, all that’s left is to enjoy the pre-game excitement! Make sure you’re following all of FSU’s rules, which addresses the following prohibited acts at a designated tailgate location:
Also make sure that you don’t have any of the following prohibited items on you before entering an FSU tailgate or football game:
Keep in mind that any FSU ticket holder is subjected to a search before entering Doak. If you get caught with any of the prohibited items, you could be denied entry into the game. We want to make sure all FSU fans are prepared to enter and cheer on the Noles!
Stay up to date on everything an FSU fan needs to know on the informative mobile app’s Game Day Guide!
The official Fan Experience Partner for FSU! The company aims to redefine home games by offering full tailgate services to ignite enthusiastic fans and drive attendance to FSU home games.