Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tailgate Lot Review: Los Angeles Coliseum

The home of the USC Trojans is the first in our Tailgate Lot Review, where we review the tailgating scene of stadiums around the nation. We not only want to review the tailgate scene, but also give potential tailgaters some tips and tricks on the specific location.

The Lot: To be honest, the tailgate real estate at the Coliseum is scarce at best. I guess that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, considering its smack dab in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. There is only one public lot for tailgaters, and it is tiny (South Lawn on this map). The rest of the tailgating areas are designated for donors (aka those with big bucks). Because the lot is so small, you’ll probably need to line up pretty early (even overnight for big games). The one good thing is that parking in the South Lawn lot is only $20. The lot is grassy, which is nice except when it rains…then it gets a bit messy. In terms of location the South Lawn is great because it is right outside the gates to the Coliseum and there are tons of bathrooms around.

The Tailgaters:
LA isn’t known for its tailgate scene, but the Trojan fans hold their own. Trojan tailgaters are made of a mix of local “Angelinos” and SC alums. While they can get pretty rowdy, they are typically a good group of loyal fans. One thing that sets the SC tailgaters apart is their progressive tailgating style. You will see more 50” plasma TVs and full theater surround sound systems at the Coliseum tailgates than any other tailgate lot. Some say you might even have a better view of the game from the tailgate lot than the actual stadium!

The Grub: You won’t find any rare, exotic eats in the Coliseum lots. The food at SC tailgates tends to be on the “normal” scale when it comes to tailgating. Burgers, dogs, and beer are a mainstay. But wait! Let’s not forget the wide assortment of authentic Mexican food that makes its way into the tailgate lots. Carne asada tacos, burritos, rice and beans, guacamole, and of course margaritas are all on the menu.

The Bottom Line: Trojan tailgaters aren’t going to win any awards for their creativity or uniqueness, but they sure can hold their own in the lot. When it comes to West Coast tailgating, the Trojan faithful surely represent the top of the class. The limited public tailgating space ensures that those who make it into the lot are the best of the best.

Tailgating Tips and Secrets:

* If you do park on the South Lawn, try not to be the first one in the lot. You’ll be parked so close to the Coliseum that the stadium will block out your satellite’s view of the southern sky (AKA no TV signal).
* If you want a larger spot, be prepared to bring more than one car. The limited tailgating space becomes highly contested once the lot begins to fill up.
* If you don’t want to fight the crowd to get on the South Lawn, try your luck at tailgating on campus. While you might have to lug your equipment a little further, you’ll have a lot more room to work with.


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