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Tailgating: Reflections in My Beer

September 30, 2014
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One of the best sports traditions is tailgating. Around the country, stadium to stadium, and sport to sport, there are big differences in what is considered the proper tailgating experience. Conventional wisdom of the parking lot aside, what options do teams have for embracing and improving the fan experience outside the gates?

  1. Sports are about community. Communal spaces can be created and not just the exclusive party tents rented out to corporations. Why can’t we have a College Gameday Experience in the Pro Leagues. Communal spaces may even help consolidate trash and recycling collection.
  2. Who is tired of hotdogs and hamburgers?  Who is ready to go into the stadium?  If you answered ‘yes’ to the first question and ‘no’ to the second, I bet you wish there was a selection of food trucks creating a temporary food court of sorts that you could visit.  Come join us on the Buffet Bus before you pick up a drink from the Beer Cart.
  3. Parking lot light posts: Sponsor them, give them an icon, help me remember where I parked and help me tell people where I am.
  4. Family Zones.  An idea to consider…it is getting pretty rowdy out there and it would be great not to have to explain to your kids what all of those colorful new words mean.
  5. Premium Tailgate Zones: If I’m willing to pay $24 bucks for general admission parking, someone will pay $100 for “premium” tailgate parking zones.
  6. Designated ladies portable potties: paint them pink. And bring in more.
  7. Did you arrive too late to enjoy the tailgating fun? You wouldn’t have if there was a Valet Service.
  8. How much time until the game starts? It sure would be cool if there was some kind of cannon, siren, or aerial that would let me know when we are an hour, ½ hour, and fifteen minutes out.
  9. Post-game parking lot dessert options…Silly you say? Maybe, but it’d be great to have options for those that indulged in one too many libations or those that want to let traffic settle down.

Currently, fans are in charge of the tailgating experience. The team that can inject energy and professional offerings into the tailgate experience, while being mindful of the sacred traditions unique to each location, will open themselves up to new sources of revenue and an improved fan experience.

About the Author
Quincy Morris is a Research Strategist for Dimensional Innovations. “I want to give clients a tactical advantage by forecasting trends and inspiring them to be creative, cunning, and prepared.”

Image by Flickr Creative Commons, Robert S. Donovan