Fans of OneSouthernMan know how much southerners enjoy the college football tailgating experience, especially at SEC campuses. Over the off-season, we ran upon Tailgate Connect, an intriguing concept designed to allow visiting fans, and even locals, the chance to enjoy and participate in college football’s ultimate social event, the pre and post-game tailgate party.
Tailgate Connect’s concept is simple. First, they find host groups at popular colleges and universities who have a history of tailgating, and for a fee, will welcome guests into their tent or tailgate area. The host provides food, beverages (both regular and adult), and most importantly, hospitality.
RELATED: The Best Tailgate In the SEC Is…?
“Our goal is to provide traveling fans with an all-inclusive, tailgate experience,” said co-founder Dan Donnelly. “I’ve tailgated at over 100 college football stadiums, and when I walked past tailgate groups having a great time and enjoying food and drink, I felt like a kid who wasn’t invited to the birthday party. For a small fee, fans can now enjoy a fantastic tailgating experience as if they had it themselves.”
Donnelly is the founder and president and also a tailgate aficionado. Joe Rogers is the co-founder and also a college football and tailgating enthusiast. “Dan and I live across the country from one another. Not only are we partners, but great friends who love everything the college football experience offers, especially the pre and post-game tailgate.”
Not only does Dan attend tailgates, but he also writes about them too. You can find his musings at Dan From the Tailgate.
Rates start at $40 per person and may be slightly higher, depending on the game and what the host offers.
“Joe has been instrumental in developing our website, and we’ve found Twitter works well in connecting us to potential hosts,” noted Donnelly. “We’ll be using other social media platforms as a way to reach out to fans interesting in learning more about our services, and we’re excited to begin our first year. Think about it, as far as we’re concerned; we have less than 30 days until Christmas morning!”
Related: Tailgating SEC Style: Auburn
SEC schools that Tailgate Connect has groups ready to host include Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, Mississippi State and Missouri. As of late July, they have dozens of hosts at schools nationwide, including the University of Texas, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Louisville and Iowa State. For a complete list, visit the Tailgate Connect website.
For answers to fans most common questions, check out the FAQ section on their website.
After the tailgate experience, both the host and guest are invited to rate one another. Similar to services like Uber; Tailgate Connect has a five-point rating system that allows both sides to assess one another.
RELATED: Tailgating SEC Style: Ole Miss
“We want both the guest and the host to feel good about the experience. If they both added value to the experience, we want others to know about it,” explained Rogers. “And if there were issues on one or both sides, we want people to know that too.”
Tailgate Connect is seeking hosts at many college campuses, and if you are interested, please visit their website.
And for fans looking to complete their college football game-day experience, finding a host tailgate group may be just the ticket. Speaking of tickets, no, your Tailgate Connect experience doesn’t come with a game ticket, but who knows, your tailgate host or someone you meet there may be able to point you in the right direction.
Related: Tailgating SEC Style: Georgia