Rutgers puts on a fantastic tailgate each Saturday, and there is truly something for everyone. The students will usually set up tables and play a variety of drinking games and get ready for kickoff their way, while the others in attendance are more laid back and set up grills, radios, and coolers as they relax and enjoy the fall weather. Rutgers is a great place to go if you want to party your face off before noon, or take the family for a fun Saturday excursion.
The pregame festivities include a great pregame show put on by the band and cheer squads which start an hour before kickoff and begins a procession into the stadium and a great line of “grease trucks” which make some of the heaviest sandwiches you will ever come across. They also present a great option for after the game if you’ve been partying with the students all day and need to refuel. Feel free to set up your grills if you want something a little bit lighter; you can do so in the yellow, blue, green and scarlet lots.
One of the coolest things you will see on your way in from New York on game day is the Empire State Building. The massive skyscraper is lit up in red for Rutgers home games. To take all of this in the best times of year are to go in late September and October when the leaves are changing as it presents a very scenic background to the game and tailgates, or against Michigan State, Nebraska, and Maryland for prime games on their schedule.
"First Game" Statue
The “First Game” Statue at Rutgers Stadium celebrates what is believed to be the first-ever American football game, which was played between Rutgers and Princeton in 1869. It’s supposed to be good luck to touch the statue before the game, so stop by to bring the Scarlet Knights some extra luck.
Rutgers Kids’ Zone
For a more family friendly tailgate, the Kids Zone is where to be. This tailgate includes many activities such as games, rides, plenty of food, temporary tattoos, and a poster making station. The Kid Zone opens two and a half hours before kickoff and is a great spot for families.
Where to tailgate
RAC Lot A majority of Rutgers tailgating happens in the RAC lot to the northeast of the stadium. Contrary to what the “official” rules are, it is okay to set up a tent for your tailgate if you want to and are respectful of others. The lot technically opens three hours before kickoff, but many fans will come earlier and then pay the attendant when he/she arrives.
Johnson ParkOne of the closest options for tailgating is Johnson Park which is right across the stadium. There is plenty of room here for parking and tailgating with fellow Rutgers fans.
Rutgers Kids' ZoneFor a more family friendly tailgate, the Kids Zone is where to be. This tailgate includes many activities such as games, rides, plenty of food, temporary tattoos, and a poster making station. This area opens two and a half hours before kickoff and is a great spot for families.