Campus Builder: Tailgating

Welcome to the Campus Builder Series. In this column, I’ll be dissecting every aspect of a college football team, from tailgating experience to coaching staff. This week, we’re looking at the best tailgating experiences in the country. Read our last post about stadiums here.

As great as the on-field activities are at a college football game, the pregame festivities can be just as fun. Tailgating is one of the most popular parts of college football, but some schools do it better than others. What are some of the best tailgate experiences in the nation?

Ohio State University

According to Fansided, fans at Ohio State are allowed to start setting up for tailgates at 5 p.m. the Thursday before a game. Tailgating is already fun, and making it last even longer can only help. Couple that with one of the top teams in the Big 10 and a massive stadium, and you have yourself a great tailgating atmosphere. 

South Dakota Mines

Ever wanted to tailgate while watching football live? At O’Harra Stadium, home to the South Dakota Mines Hardrockers, parking decks wrap around part of the field, allowing fans to tailgate and watch the game from the comfort of their own car. It doesn’t get any better than not having to stop tailgating once the game starts. 

Louisiana State University

Louisiana is no stranger to partying. LSU takes that mentality to their tailgates and incredible atmosphere. From the amazing regional food to the passionate fans, LSU seems like one of the best tailgating spots in the country. 

Ole Miss 

Although the on-field product might not always be the best, Ole Miss has long been heralded as one of the best places in the country to tailgate. With a dedicated spot on campus for tailgating called The Grove, plenty of fans pack in every Saturday before home games. The passionate fans are what makes the experience so unforgettable.


Overall, there are so many tailgating spots to choose from and only a few we could mention here. There are so many places, especially in the SEC, where tailgating is a central part of gamedays. 

While the huge, packed lawns of the SEC are really great tailgating spots, I’m going to go with pure novelty here and pick South Dakota Mines tailgates. Why stop the tailgate at kickoff?