Atmosphere

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.

Traditions

Scarlet Walk

Approximately two hours before kickoff, the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights will be dropped off on Scarlet Knight Way on the north side of the stadium. A tunnel is created by fans, the marching band, and the cheerleaders as the team heads into the stadium.

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"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

One thought on “Rutgers Scarlet Knights Tailgating

  1. Bob Ribeiro says:

    Many visitors have commented that Rutgers is the best tailgating atmosphere in the northeast. Despite NJ’s residents reputation for having a “brusk” attitude the RU fans are very friendly and welcoming. Relatively new to the B1G conference Rutgers fans are interested in hearing about their new affiliates in the conference and visitors from far away. Bring a six pack to share and you’ll likely be offered plenty of great food and fun in return. (For early kick-offs expect to be overwhelmed with offers of pork -roll, egg and cheese sandwiches on a hard roll, a NJ specialty!)

    As of 2017 beer and alcohol is not served in the stadium, except in the Audi Club and private boxes. (We are trying to get his amended). Try and sneak in booze and you may get bounced from the stadium. They are strict about adhering to the size of purses, etc. No coolers, etc. are allowed either.

    Johnson Park is a $50.00 game day parking lot (no season passes.) It is directly across River Road from the stadium, (a 1/4 mile walk uphill to the Scarlet Lot in front of the stadium.) Space is limited so arrive early, at least two hours before kick-off, as the lot fills-up quickly with RU and visitor tailgaters, Tents are OK. Plenty of porta-potties. RU fans are friendly to those visitors that are likewise and respectful.

    The RAC lot is a 10 minute bus ride from the fb stadium. Free buses run continuously before and after games so there is almost no wait to board. Many parking spots are under roof (though not a multi-level parking deck.) If weather is inclement, and you still want to tailgate, this is a good alternative.

    If you can handle a 30 minute walk, east across the Raritan River and the historic Delaware and Raritan Canal, via the Landing Lane bridge (not the Rt. 18 highway bridge), is Buccleuch Park. This is a city park that allows free parking along the roadway on game day. You can tailgate next to your vehicle but must remove tents , etc. before heading to the stadium. It closes at sundown. (Enter after dark and you may encounter the ghosts of British and Hessian soldiers from the American Revolutionary War.)

    The Rutgers Kids Zone is located west of “The Bubble” (indoor practice facility.) Just a short, 1/2 mile, walk from the stadium. The usual inflatable slides, jumping stuff and things to burn kids’ energy. Meet a Scarlet Knight and take a picture together while there!

    The city of New Brunswick is east of the College Avenue Campus (CAC) original. Adjacent to the campus along or near Easton Ave. are many college bars mentioned here (e.g. Brass Rail, Olde Queens, The Olive.) Add to those the Corner Tavern (CT’s) at the corner of Somerset and Easton Ave. near the original Old Queens campus. Next to CT’s is Scarlet Fever, the go-to store for RU gear and souvenirs (owned by a former RU mascot, Steve.) A short walk a little further east into downtown New Brunswick are many excellent restaurants. But make reservations for after games as they get very busy!

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