Tailgating with the Houston Texans
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including gameday and tailgating: especially in Houston! Don’t believe me? Check out this line directly from the Texans website: “The Houston Texans not only allow tailgating, we encourage it!”
Here are a few tips to help you enjoy one of the best tailgating experiences in Houston:
– Parking lots open four opens before kickoff (except for the Platinum Lot).
– Parking is first-come, first-served so if you plan to tailgate next to friends or family, arrive with them. If you have an over-sized vehicle, bus, or RV, you will need to park in the designated RV section (Blue Lot next to the old Astrodome).
– The Texans require a game ticket or a tailgate ticket in order to get on the property – this includes all tailgating activities! Some entrances are a little slacker than others, but to make sure you’re able to get in for tailgating, be sure you have a game ticket or a Tailgate Guest Ticket (which can be purchased for $10). Fans can order a Tailgate Guest Ticket (all tailgate guest tickets must be purchased before gameday). A parking pass is not considered a tailgate ticket.
– Remember: tailgating is outside, football is inside. This is key for dressing for the game, especially in the really hot, humid months. Bring sunscreen; drink lots of water, and ladies bring hair ties. A lot of guys bring extra shirts to change into right before they head into the stadium.
– Blue Lot is where it’s at. The Blue Lot is my personal favorite tailgating spot with some of the friendliest (not to mention liveliest) Texans fans around. Click here to see the parking map.
– Pace yourself. I know I’m not your mom, but tailgating starts early in Houston and with temperatures sometimes in the hundreds, be sure to drink responsibly (and lots of water).
– While I don’t want to take away from the amazing concessions inside the stadium, the food at many of the tailgates is some of the best BBQ (and other stuff) you’ll find at a football game. Come hungry! If you’re not cooking yourself, make friends. Most of the fans always cook too much and are incredibly friendly.
– If you’re not driving to the game, Uber Houston is a pretty good option for getting to and from NRG Stadium (they are even a partner of the team and many other teams). Use signup code “TicketCity” for $20 off
– The stores in Texas don’t sell beer until noon, so buy your beer a day early!
– Once inside Bud Plaza (after tailgating, but on your way into the game), you can grab beers for just $2.50 and walk in to the stadium with them to prolong having to pay $9 for a beer.
To sum up tailgating in Houston, here’s a blurb from The Endzone King, David Nagy (as pictured in the above tailgates): We put the focus on the fun and fan camaraderie, not so much on the food. We don’t compete for awards and we don’t accept sponsorships. We show up early and stay as long as possible. It’s more fluid than organized and we welcome all who wish to join in the fun. Pretty simple formula!
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Jayme Lamm is a sports, travel, and fitness writer based in Houston whose work has appeared in ESPN, CBS, Sports on Earth, Women’s Health and many others. She spends most of her time covering sporting events for The Blonde Side.