There’s no better time than football season in Texas, and every good football game starts with a good tailgate. Here’s some tailgating tips and tricks for all you rookie and veteran tailgaters!

ONE: Be there or be square

Most lots open up 5 hours prior to kick-off. Plan on arriving as soon as the lots open to get your choice of spot and plenty of time to set up, cook, eat and clean up. Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your yourself without having to rush to get to your seats for kick-off. 

TWO: Food prep

Tailgating pros know that plenty of prepping makes the day of a piece of cake. Besides the obvious grocery shopping, don’t forget the prep of marinating meat, shaping and seasoning hamburger patties, chopping up veggies, baking, and packing up some of the non-food essentials. 

THREE: Tailgate toolbox

If you're a frequent tailgater, a permanently packed tailgate toolbox is a MUST. Some essential items to for your tailgate kit include:

  • Spatulas/Tongs
  • Bottle Openers
  • Can Opener
  • Toothpicks/Wooden Skewers
  • Mini Flashlight/Batteries
  • Trash Bags/Paper Towels/Plastic Zip Bags
  • Wet Wipes/Hand Sanitizer
  • Sunscreen/Bug Spray
  • Poncho
  • Masking Tape/Permanent Marker

A few more items you might want to have handy:  Fire extinguisher and extra fuel or charcoal, blankets, folding chairs, and plastic zip bags with slightly wet paper towels for cleaning.

FOUR: Don't forget the six-pack... of condiments

Re-purpose a six-pack container as storage for all your condiments, salt, pepper, and marinade that’s ready for action at a moment’s notice. 

FIVE: Cooler packing

There IS a science to make the most of your cooler space and make sure everything stays cold. Don’t forget the drink coolers and label them to find everything easier!

Pro-tip: Pack some frozen water bottles. They'll start off as a cold pack to keep other food and drinks cold and end up being ice cold water to drink a little later on.

SIX: Leave the dishes for later

Use a big plastic tub to pack your CLEAN tailgating dishes. When you’re ready to pack up, line the plastic tub with a trash bag, and put all your DIRTY dishes inside. Could clean up get any easier?!

SEVEN: Create more space

Bring along a set of small shelves to create more surface space for a hot dog/hamburger/baked potato condiment station or a Bloody Mary bar that makes it easy for guests to serve themselves.

EIGHT: Party like a true fan

A tailgate party is the perfect opportunity to unleash your inner creative super star with over-the-top decorations and team-branded food and drink items. Need a few good ideas to get you started? Check out these Dallas Cowboys cupcake and cookie ideas on Pinterest, or these ideas for tailgating setups, snacks, and drinks.

NINE: Be a good neighbor

Excessive rowdiness, too-loud music, and irresponsible drinking are not only the behaviors of unpopular tailgaters, but they can also get you booted off the property and permanently banned from future tailgate fun. Have a good time but keep it under control— and remember to share your extra mustard when the party next to you runs out. Be sure to check out AT&T Stadium’s tailgating policies.

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