Tailgating has exploded in the Fargo community over the past decade. This year, NDSU and Bison fans are continuing to push the envelope. The increase in reserved tailgating spots has guaranteed the most passionate fans will be in the parking lot prior to kickoff. There’s still an opportunity for you to join the fun in the West Lot. Here’s what you’re going to need to get in on the action.
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Any Joe can show up to the West Lot in his pickup truck, pop the back end and literally tailgate out of the back of their vehicle. But the real tailgating experience comes when you bring a trailer or bus into the equation. Tailgate trailers and rigs aren’t cheap–usually costing more than $10,000–but it’s worth the investment when you can entertain all your friends Saturday mornings before the Bison play. This trailer is from Ultimate Transportation. The amenities ran this up to nearly $30,000. Although, the grill that pops out of the side makes us start to think it’s worth it.
2. CLEAR YOUR FRIDAY AFTERNOON SCHEDULE
We don’t condone playing hooky from your job, but if you weren’t able to purchase a reserved tailgating spot, you might want to consider disappearing Friday afternoon to secure your place in the general admission lot. There are 219 GA spots up for grabs. Each spot costs $5 with a minimum purchase of two spots and maximum of six. The line for the GA spots forms immediately at 5 p.m., Fridays before gameday. Get in line on the south side of 17th Avenue North to secure your spot in the West Lot for Saturday.
3. BIG GREEN EGG
One of the most important elements of any tailgate is the food. To make the food, you need a high-end grill that can cook whatever you need efficiently as possible. That’s why most fans lean toward the Big Green Egg. It’s foolproof for baking, smoking or roasting. This puppy can hold eight steaks at once. With the built-in thermometer and vent on the top, it’s easy to get the exact temperature you need to grill whatever you put on the grill.
4. WHAT YOU PUT ON THE GRILL
“Herd is the Word” tailgating threw a 41-pound alligator straight from the Louisiana Bayou on their grill last year. Throw a couple slices of pineapple on top and you have a true Southern delicacy at your tailgate. If you’re looking to go with something more conventional, you can always rely on the team at NDSU’s BBQ Bootcamp. Beef sirloin is a favorite over at the NDSU Meat lab. Season the meat generously, grill until the internal heat reaches 135 degrees and cut against the grain to maximize juiciness.
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5. GAMES GALORE
Since tailgating is all-inclusive, you have to bring something for the kids. Cornhole’s popularity is evident when wandering the tailgating lot. Be sure to bring yours with you to amplify the competitiveness of your party. The original game can be found anywhere that sells sporting goods. But if you want to take your cornhole game to the next level, make your own super-sized version with actual pillows like the Thundering Road Herd crew did at Iowa State three seasons ago.
6. WEAR YOUR BISON PRIDE
NDSU Athletics revenue from rights/licensing has sky-rocketed to more than $3.3 million in 2016. This means a couple things. One, NDSU is making the most out of the football teams success. And two, Bison fans are buying as much NDSU-licensed gear at local retailers. SCHEELS, NDSU Bookstore, One Herd and even Wal-Mart have delved into the NDSU merchandise game, which means fans have more options than ever to get their Bison gear.
7. ADD YOUR BISON FLAVOR
Now that you have the rig you’ll roll into the West Lot with, it’s time to add some green and gold. The Herd Attack crew in Lot G is led by volunteer paramedic Tim Hager. After purchasing an ambulance he’d been searching for, Hager poured $8,000 into “Bison-ing out” his tailgating rig.
8. SOUND CHECK
The Dirty Herd, Unleashed (pictured) and many more local musicians can be found rocking out in the West Lot before Bison football games. Any tailgater can bring big speakers to their tailgate and begin a playlist. But if you want to get the party started and bodies moving on the dance floor, a live band is the only way to go.
9. ALL ARE WELCOME
Tailgating is the can’t-miss social gathering during the fall. That’s why long-time Bison fan Cameron Wolf and his tailgating group have an open policy at their tailgate. All are welcome. And that is what drove Glen and Emily Wieger all the way from Florida to experience tailgating in Fargo. The Wiegers have traveled from their home in Jacksonville, Florida, for two Bison tailgates with Wolf’s crew.
10. FURRY FRIENDS
One of the most underrated aspects of Bison tailgating is that it’s pet-friendly. Don’t leave your furry creature at home. They are more than welcome to join you and your friends in the pregame festivities before football games.