Louisiana Football Tailgating Tips
The boys of fall take to the field, and we couldn’t be happier to cheer them on. Learn about a few of our local teams—and find out where to celebrate their victories this season.
What gets our hearts racing like a hot pot of gumbo? What makes us paint faces and don costumes outside of Carnival? What rouses us out of bed at the crack of dawn besides the opening day of duck season?
Two words: Louisiana football.
Whether it’s the Who Dat Nation proudly cheering the New Orleans Saints, or passionate alumni rooting for our college teams, Louisiana knows how to party. Locals and out-of-towners alike will enjoy the pageantry of a Louisiana football tailgate, and get a taste of what’s guaranteed to be the best tailgating in the country.
Louisiana State University
Conference: Southeastern Conference
Did You Know: LSU's most recent live tiger mascot, Mike VII arrived to his state-of-the-art habitat right on campus on Aug. 15, 2017 at just 11 months old. Visitors can pay a visit to Mike and see him splashing in the water, playing with his ball or taking a snooze.
Tailgater’s Tip: Find a spot along North Stadium Drive, also known as Victory Hill, and watch the Golden Band from Tigerland march to the stadium while playing “Hold That Tiger.” The team also walks down Victory Hill, a tradition that began in the early 1990s. View the LSU Tigers' schedule.
Where to Celebrate a Victory: Walk-On's Bistreaux and Bar is located around the corner to the LSU stadium and their tailgates and post-game concerts are not to miss. They've also been named ESPN’s No. 1 Sports Bar in America.
Louisiana Tech University
Conference: Conference USA
Did You Know: In the 1960s, NFL great Terry Bradshaw played second-string quarterback behind Phil Robertson at Louisiana Tech. Robertson gave up the game, with a year of eligibility left, to pursue his passion for duck hunting. His family can be seen on A&E’s Duck Dynasty.
Tailgater’s Tip: Fans can avoid game-day traffic and stadium lots by parking downtown and taking advantage of the Tech Trolley. This shuttle service will take you to and from Joe Aillet Stadium for tailgating activities and the game, running continuously each hour, completely free of charge! Fans can get to the stadium early for tailgating in Bulldog Village. Located right outside the Joe Aillet Stadium, this interactive fan zone includes live music on the Experience Ruston stage, open tailgates, vendors, autograph signing, free food, activities for the kids and more. View Louisiana Tech's football schedule.
Where to Celebrate a Victory: Dawg House Sports Grill is a family-friendly establishment owned by Louisiana Tech alumni that exuberates the Bulldog spirit.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Conference: Sun Belt Conference
Did You Know: The Warhawk mascot is a nod to the area’s historical connection to the P-40 “Warhawk” airplane flown by General Claire Chennault and the Flying Tigers of World War II. Chennault made his home in Monroe after the war. Visit the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum in Monroe to learn more.
Tailgater’s Tip: The Pecan Grove is a popular spot to set up for pregame festivities, and players walk through it to pump up the crowd. Don’t miss the newly constructed Pecan Grove area, now even better equiped for the perfect tailgate scene around the stadium. View the schedule for the Warhawks.
Where to Celebrate a Victory: Fieldhouse Bar & Grill is a locally owned sports bar and restaurant with an atmosphere that any sports fan will love.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Mascot: Ragin’ Cajuns
Conference: Sun Belt Conference
Did You Know: The Ragin’ Cajun football field is two feet below sea level in a natural bowl. With the below-sea level playing surface, pumps and a sophisticated drainage system help keep the field in good playing condition. The nickname “The Swamp,” was acquired in 1988 — appropriate because the original football field was next to the Cypress Lake adjacent to the Student Union and give the area's natural abundance of swamps and wetlands.
Tailgater’s Tip: Find your way to the tailgate of the Krewe de Chew and take notes on how these pros do up game day. Introduce yourself and they’ll surely feed you. Recipes for a few of their made-from-scratch dishes can be found on their website. View the Ragin' Cajuns' schedule.
Where to Celebrate a Victory: Pete’s has been serving locals, visitors and especially sports fans since 1968. Featuring over 30 TVs and an arcade for the kids - there's entertainment for everyone.
Northwestern State University
Conference: Southland Conference
Did You Know: When the Demons take on Stephen F. Austin Jacks each year, the teams battle for Chief Caddo, the largest trophy in college football. Named for the Caddo Indian tribe that settled the area, Chief Caddo is 7 feet, 6 inches tall and 320 pounds.
Tailgater’s Tip: Demon Alley tailgating is very popular. It’s the site of Vic’s Fun Zone, which has inflatable games and other entertainment for kids. The new Collins Family Pavilion has restrooms, picnic-style seating and big screen televisions so you can check on your other favorite teams on game day. View the Demons' schedule.
Grambling State University
Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference
Did You Know: Leaving your seat at halftime is a big mistake. The GSU Tiger Marching Band is known for putting on a high-stepping, exciting show. Wait to get your hot dog and drink, or you’ll be sorry.
Tailgater’s Tip: Take a tailgating timeout to visit the Eddie G. Robinson Museum. The coaching legend won 408 games at GSU and sent more than 200 players to the NFL. Get there early on game day; it opens at 9 a.m. and closes two hours before kickoff. View Grambling's schedule.
Where to Celebrate a Victory: Just minutes from Grambling's campus, head to Sundown Tavern in Ruston for a nice selection of beers, gameday eats and patio seating.
Southeastern Louisiana University
Conference: Southland Conference
Did You Know: Friendship Circle is tailgating central at Southeastern—and home to the legendary Friendship Oak. Relax under it while showing off your best green and gold ensemble, meeting the coaches and athletes during Lion Walk 2.5 hours before game time, or enjoying a bowl of gumbo during the annual Gumbo Cook-Off. But be sure that whoever you choose to share the experience with is someone special; according to myth, kiss someone under Friendship Oak’s branches and you will end up marrying them!
Tailgater’s Tip: Don’t want to organize your own tailgate? No problem! In addition to dozens of organization and vendor booths on site ready to welcome you, you can stop by the Student Union for a pre-game meal. After kickoff, those 21 and over can sit back and enjoy adult beverages in Strawberry Stadium while cheering on the Lions. View the Lions' schedule.
Where to Celebrate a Victory: Historic Downtown Hammond is only a few blocks from Southeastern’s campus and home to several great restaurants, including Blackened Brew.
Mascot: Green Wave/Riptide the Pelican
Conference: American Athletic Conference
Did You Know: Yulman Stadium is home to Tulane Green Wave football and is located on the university's Uptown campus in New Orleans. This stadium features two elevated club decks with several bars and over 30,000 seats. Catch a home game for a chance to see the Tulane University Marching Band in action and to witness the antics of Riptide the Pelican, the school’s mascot. Top rivalries include those between Green Wave and the LSU Tigers, as well as the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
Tailgater’s Tip: Beer and wine only - no hard liquor allowed here! Additionally, tailgate games like beer pong are prohibited on campus. But there are plenty of other ways to enjoy yourself here – stop by and “pregame” at one of the many local bars nearby before making your way to the tailgate. View Tulane's schedule.
Where to Celebrate a Victory: Just a few minutes away from Tulane’s campus is Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge. Yes – you heard that right. It’s a dive bar that’s Christmas-themed all year round!
Did You Know: The Caesar’s Superdome is home to the New Orleans Saints and has hosted the Super Bowl, the College Football Championship Game, the famous Bayou Classic Game held each November and the Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl held in January. With a seating capacity of 76,468, this stadium is a great spot to catch a game between the Saints and their most famed opponents, like the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers.
Tailgater’s Tip: Champion’s Square is a 60,000-square-foot outdoor plaza right outside the Superdome that can accommodate as many as 8,000 fans. Get your fill of great food and beverages from popular local eateries, enjoy convenient bathroom access and live, pre-game concerts. There are also two clubs right off Champions Square with food and drink specials in a more relaxed atmosphere. View the Saints' schedule.
Where to Celebrate a Victory: Port Orleans Brewing Company has plenty of tasty craft beers, plus an onsite restaurant, Avo Taco, that serves up delicious tacos to soak up any alcohol from a long day of tailgating.
If you’re planning your own tailgating experience, here are some additional tailgating tips that’ll come in handy.