If you’ve never been to Raymond James Stadium, perhaps you’re intimidated by its massive size. Maybe you’re not sure where to go for your particular needs or interests. Keep reading to find out which tailgating lot best fits your personality.
Lot 1: Serious Chefs
No spot around the stadium can you find more serious chefs than in Lot 1. This lot is absolutely packed with portable grills, portable skillets and enough tasty food to feed a small country. No pre-packaged foods here — look for Ray-Jay chefs cooking up handmade burgers, ribs, skillet fajitas, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob, rice and beans, grilled sweet potato wedges and pots of sausage and peppers. If you fancy yourself an amateur chef, pull into Lot 1 for your tailgate and swap recipes with some of the other novice cooks on the lot.
Lots 2, 3 and 4: Family Friendly
If you have kids, Lots 2, 3 and 4 might be your best option. These lots are lined with families relaxing and having a good time. Kids are often seen playing cornhole, tossing footballs and throwing Frisbees while parents either join in or relax in the sun. Bring the kids — they may even make some new friends!
Lots 5, 6 and 7: Latecomers’ Lots
Tailgate parties do happen here, but most people pull in late just before the game. If you’re planning on skipping the tailgate and just enjoying the game, you can count on these lots to provide open parking spaces. If you plan on partying, get to the stadium early so you have your pick of the lots. Remember, the lot gates open three and a half hours before kickoff, which is 9:30 a.m. for most games.
Lot 6D: Large Parties
The tailgate parties in 6D are absolutely huge, many of them hosting 20 people or more crowding under big tents. No one in this lot is shy either. Guests from various parties intermingle and party the day away. If you have a large group of people attending your tailgate, 6D will be able to accommodate them.
Lots 8 and 10: Gamers’ Lots
Lots 8 and 10 are right next to each other, so it’s no surprise that game lovers spread out across both spaces. Here you can find all kinds of games including cornhole, ladder golf, Frisbee, Texas horseshoes and even beer pong.
Lot 9: Young Adult Zone
Lot 9 definitely attracts the most young adults — young men and women who seem to be in their college years or early- to mid-20s. Beer pong tables are scattered throughout the lot and no one is shy about being crazy. This may not be the best place for families with young children, but if you love being wild and crazy, this lot’s for you.
Lots A and C: Disabled Parking
Just because you or someone in your family has a disability, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good tailgate party. Pull into these lots, unload your grill and cook up some tailgate fun.
Lot B: Season Passholders Only
Unless you hold a season pass, parking in Lot B is off limits. If you do hold a season pass, enjoy this nice open lot right next to the front of the stadium.
Lot D: Dance Party
If you love dancing, both D and 6D, located on the south side of the stadium, is where the action lies. A live DJ mixes beats and the music can be heard throughout most of the area. Put on your dancing shoes and get crazy.
Lot 14: Eclectic Crowd
This lot is the biggest lot around the stadium, even larger than the stadium itself. It comes as no surprise that a lot this huge would attract a mix of personalities, including those from visiting teams. Some tailgaters turn up the music and dance, some toss a football around and others power up a generator and watch TV. If you’re lucky, you might just catch a marching band like this one from Palmetto Ridge High School all the way from Naples. Visit Lot 14 for Buccaneers party fun.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.