Tailgating in this city used to be largely reserved for the Eagles. If people did show up early and party in the parking lots before a Phillies game, it was mainly on the weekends.
But then The Miracle of 2008 happened.
Now, you’ll find folks getting loaded outside Citizens Bank Park at noon on a weekday. In fact, few MLB teams can boast such impressive pregame turnouts like the Phils can. So, for any sad saps out there who have yet to experience the booze-fueled fun and excitement of a Phillies tailgate, we offer you this handy guide.
The Basics: Do’s & Don’ts
Although many of the tips below are just general common sense, we all know that’s not one of the many endearing traits Philadelphians—especially Philly sports fans—are known for. So it doesn’t hurt to reiterate.
DO choose your spot wisely. Tailgating is only permitted in the parking areas south of Pattison Avenue and east of Darien Street. (lots A–H, J-L, M and N). The Jetro lot (M and N) is considered to be the most tailgate-friendly (in other words, the least family-friendly). So, if you’ve got kiddies, stick to lots A-H or J-L. It costs $15 to park in any of these lots.
DON’T rush. Though the mass exodus from the sports complex would seem to indicate otherwise, no one is going to kick you out of the lot immediately after the game. In fact, you can hang around pretty late. So fire the grill back up, pop open another beer and avoid the rush.
DO be festive. Show the Phils the same over-the-top declarations of team spirit that you do the Birds and come decked out in team apparel and accessories—the more ridiculous, the better. Having some kind of flag, banner or marker in your space will also make it easier for friends to spot you in the sea of tailgaters.
DON’T be an asshole. Although there are undercover cops patrolling the parking lots, fans are pretty much given free rein when tailgating. And we would all like to keep it that way. So if you can’t be civilized, do the city a favor and watch the game from the confines of your home.
DO bring water—and lots of it.
DON’T blast your music. Everyone has the right to tailgate without having their ears violated by your shitty music. Just let them listen to their own.
DON’T rely on the Bow Tie. Even if the forecast calls for blue skies, play it safe and come equipped with an umbrella, poncho and tarp/tent (which also a good idea for a really hot and sunny day).
DO pace yourself. Remember: You’ve still got a three-hour game ahead of you.
DON’T leave your shit unattended. Even the most scrupulous of Philadelphians can’t be trusted alone around free booze or food.
DON’T drink a beer if you’re not 100 percent sure it’s yours. That’s right, apparently some dudes opt to piss in a container or bottle instead of behind their cars like the rest. To be clear, there are more discreet options for urinating. You just have to walk a few feet.
DO leave your neighbors some room. There are more than 20,000 parking spaces around CBP. So move the fuck over.
DON’T alarm your car. Lock it, yes. But the chances of someone bumping into your car, setting off the alarm and draining the battery are far greater than someone stealing it.
DON’T give your friends food poisoning. To avoid a gastrointestinal disaster, don’t leave food sitting out for more than two hours, and keep drinks and food in a separate cooler to avoid cross contamination. Any uncooked food should be kept on ice until you plan on cooking it.
DO BBQ safely. Whether it’s a dinky tabletop charcoal grill or a big, fancy gas grill, make sure you know how to use it. Most importantly, remember to give your grill plenty of time to cool before putting it anywhere near your vehicle.
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