Kentucky is widely known as a basketball school, which means many people have a lot of misconceptions about what the tailgating scene at Commonwealth Stadium. They think that football is an afterthought here in the Bluegrass State, but that couldn’t be further from the truth here in Lexington.
Kentucky fans love to tailgate before watching the Wildcats take the field and will start setting up at noon the day before so that they can get in as much tailgating as possible on Saturday. You’ll want to make sure to get to Commonwealth Stadium early to ensure you get a good spot.
The majority of tailgating at Kentucky games takes place around the pop up tents like a lot of SEC schools. The parking lots around Commonwealth Stadium will be filled with blue and white tents filled with Kentucky fans who are for the most part very friendly and welcoming. If you want to make friends, just bring a bottle of Kentucky bourbon and join right in on the fun.
One of the beauties of Kentucky is the weather. The warm months are still warm, and the cold months usually only go as low as 30 degrees. You know what they say, good weather means better tailgating!
Another staple of any tailgate is great food, and Kentucky is no exception. Kentucky is famous for its great tasting barbecue, and everyone puts their twist on it family, so when it’s time to eat you know it’ll be a memorable experience.
One of the unique foods at Kentucky tailgates is burgoo. This Kentucky favorite is a spicy stew served with cornbread. One of the most interesting things about it is that it is usually made with squirrel, or opossum, or whatever they can get their hands on. It is the hands down hit of every tailgate!
Kentucky provides an excellent the college game day experience equipped with good food, great bourbon and wild and wacky fans. These diehards will go all out to show their pride for the home team, coloring the parking lots and stands all blue to show that this is Big Blue Nation!
Make sure to check out Kentucky’s live mascot, Blue, is a Bobcat (“Wildcat” generally refers to Bobcats.) who lives in Salato Wildlife Education Center. Sadly, Blue does not come out for any of the games because bobcats are very shy animals and don’t do well with big crowds.Watch video
A great Fan tradition that has been going on for a long time is called the “CatWalk”. Fans make a preceding for the players to walk from the field house where the bus drops them off to Commonwealth stadium. The approximately 200 yard walk is lined up with UK fans the entire way, start to finish, that's commitment right there.Watch video
Rubbing Patterson's Foot
If you want to give the Wildcats a little bit of extra luck before the game then stop by the statue of President Patterson. They say it’s good luck if you rub President Patterson’s foot, so it’s worth a shot to try and give the Wildcats any edge you can.Watch video
Fans of all ages, especially the younger Wildcats, will enjoy playing at the Wildcat Refuge, located outside the southwest corner of Commonwealth Stadium. There are five enormous inflatable games that are available about three hours before kickoff. In addition to the inflatable games, there will be autograph sessions with UK sports teams, face painting, and an autograph tent with the mascot!
Where to tailgate
The BowlThe Bowl is a prime tailgating spot for the Wildcats. Located between the tennis courts and Cooper Dr., University of Kentucky has made a space for music where they can host a DJ and band. The Bowl also offers grills, and the spot is close to the Kentucky Police Department, so if you’re looking for more of a safe tailgate, then this is your best choice. Although, don’t underestimate the spirit and energy at The Bowl. These fans will still give it their all for their cats!
Gluck Equine CenterThis location gives off the impression that UK is one of the best tailgate destinations in the SEC. The pond right by creates a cool setting, while everyone that enters the stadium via Nicholasville Rd. will see the spectacle as soon as they enter campus. Additionally, the neighborhood directly across the street is primarily for college students, marking a perfect meeting spot for on-campus students and commuters. It’s also the most spacious area near the stadium meaning a lot of good tailgating can be found here.
Wildcat RefugeFans of all ages, especially the younger Wildcats, will enjoy playing at the Wildcat Refuge, located outside the southwest corner of Commonwealth Stadium. There are five enormous inflatable games that are available about three hours before kickoff. In addition to the inflatable games, there will be autograph sessions with UK sports teams, face painting, and an autograph tent with the mascot!