Get excited: college football season is just around the corner! If you’ve ever been to a college football game, you know the excitement surrounding the event. In the south, and at Clemson in particular, gameday is all about the events before, during and after the game. You might be a seasoned pro (maybe an alumni or upperclassman) or a newbie (welcome freshmen!!) — either way, here are seven Clemson gameday tips to help guide you through this football season.
1. Think Ahead
College football game days aren’t something to plan last minute. Instead, you’ll want to think ahead, planning your weekend around the event. Notably, look at your school schedule for the upcoming week. If you have tests or assignments due, you’ll want to get a head start on those before Sunday.
Clemson gamedays can be exhausting; from walking around campus, indulging at tailgates, and cheering on your team, you’ll undoubtedly be tired the following day. So, opt for a nap or Netflix on Sundays to prepare for the week ahead. Trust us — schoolwork will likely be the last thing you’ll want to do. Aim to check off must-do tasks before the gameday festivities.
2. Plan a Trip
If you’re a diehard fan or just looking for some adventure, plan a trip to an away game! If your team’s schedule allows, check out one of the top college football stadiums in the nation. Or, if you’re a fan of a winning team (like all us Tigers! #HumbleBrag), plan a trip to a post-season championship or bowl game. Some trips can be completed in a day; others will require flying and more time/money.
No matter how big the trip, you’ll definitely enjoy the atmosphere and camaraderie of other traveling fans. Clemson fans, in particular, know the thrill of traveling with their Tigers to big games, like all those recent National Championship games! 😉
3. Know the Venue and Surrounding Area
Whether you’re planning a visit to a home game or to a stadium in a new town, be sure to read up on the venue and surrounding area. For example:
- Traffic patterns on gameday can be different from the usual, so know how you’ll get to the venue.
- Many universities offer shuttles or other forms of transportation to make parking and getting to the games accessible.
- Be sure to know the regulations of the stadium you’re visiting: most venues have a clear bag policy and ever-changing mask mandates for large events.
- Most importantly: know the re-entrance policy. Clemson fans can leave the stadium at halftime and re-enter to watch the rest of the game. (Super fun way to continue the tailgate!) But this may not be the case at other locations.
4. Visit the Local Spots
Be sure to know and visit the local restaurants in town on game day! Many college towns have “go-to” spots for tailgaters to check out before, during or after games. Maybe you didn’t get a ticket or prefer to watch the game indoors (hello, air conditioning!). No matter the reason, you’re sure to find iconic gameday locations in most towns to join fans for the game.
It should come as no surprise that the Esso Club ranks #5 on this list of the best college bars for game-watching. Most fans know that it is and always will be a Clemson gameday tradition. Be sure to check it out before a game or consider watching the second half there.
5. Don’t Miss the Traditions
When making your plans, don’t forget to factor in the pregame traditions. Many schools have events leading up to the game, from players walking into the stadium to their grand entrance onto the playing field. Clemson is no exception. In fact, the Tigers have quite a few football traditions that you won’t want to miss. From Howard’s Rock to epic tailgates, be sure you make it into the game (or at least close to Death Valley) for all the fun moments!
6. Tailgate Like a Pro
Besides the actual game, tailgating is the biggest event of college football. But remember, all-day tailgating is not for the faint of heart. Again, you’ll want to plan ahead: be sure to wear the right clothes, pack all the necessities, and drink enough water to keep hydrated throughout the day. For specific tips for tailgating at Clemson, check out our suggestions from upperclassmen and alumni.
Not sure how to host a tailgate or where to go on gameday? Check out Clemson Life tailgate for the Georgia Tech game on September 18th! We’re partnering with them to host and provide food at their tailgate. Stop by and say hi to the EPOCH Tribe! (Make sure to follow our social media for more tailgate updates).
7. Cheer Like You Mean It! 📣
If all of these tips don’t have you pumped up already, you’ll definitely get excited once you’ve actually entered the game. College football stadiums — especially Death Valley — have a high-energy atmosphere that tends to rub off on all patrons. At Clemson, there’s no doubt that you’ll be ready to cheer on the Tigers after the players run down the hill, and we’re sure you’ll be singing along to Tiger Rag in no time!