Florida Gators: Tips and Tricks to Tailgating in Gainesville on Gameday

by Dustin Schutte
florida-gators-tips-and-tricks-to-tailgating-in-gainesville-on-gameday
(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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UF Gameday GuidesRestaurants Bars | Activities | Tailgates | Parking 

Green is the predominant color in Gainesville on most days of the year. Travel into town on a football gameday, and you’ll notice an orange-and-blue color wave scattered between the Spanish moss and palm trees. Though it may not feel like fall, the tailgate scene before the Florida Gators take the field ensures football season has arrived.

“Gainesville’s gameday can be a little disjointed. My recommendation — whether you’re tailgating or not — is to walk around and see what everyone has to offer.”

Nick de la Torre, Gators Online

Because of UF’s design, tailgating on a Gators gameday can be a little bit scattered. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth the adventure, though. We talked with Nick de la Torre and Corey Bender of On3’s Gators Online to get an idea of some of the ideal tailgating spots in Gainesville before kickoff at “The Swamp.”

Where to Tailgate on Gameday in Gainesville

Gainesville Woman’s Club

  • Location: 2809 W. University Ave.
  • Distance to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: 1 mile
  • Price: $30 (varies)
  • Website

One of the best gameday locations for tailgating, especially if you’re only making it to one or two games in “The Swamp” during the season. For $30, you can park at the Gainesville Woman’s Club and enjoy a great tailgate setup. Be sure to check in advance that the lot is open, though. While it’s available most Saturdays during the college football season, there are occasional events that restrict public parking.

Parker Elementary School

  • Location: 1912 NW 5th Ave.
  • Distance to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: 0.5 miles
  • Price: $154
  • Website

Looking for a season-long parking pass in an area that permits tailgating? Parker Elementary School offers a great rate for all Gators home games in the fall. Single-game parking is also available, but it’s one a first-come, first-served basis. If you do plan on tailgating here, keep in mind that alcohol is not permitted on school grounds.

First Lutheran Church

  • Location: 1801 NW 5th Ave.
  • Distance to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: 0.6 miles
  • Price: Inquire for details
  • Website

Another spot located close to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is at First Lutheran Church, where you’re able to secure a season-long pass. This is also a place where “Gator Football tailgating is a tradition,” according to the website. In order to get price details, you’ll have to reach out to the church. Because of its location and the tradition of tailgating here, it’s worth looking into if you’re a Florida fan.

Premium Tailgating

Gator Parking

  • Locations: Various (Below)
  • Price: $550-$800
  • Website

One of the better options for fans looking to secure a season-long parking/tailgating pass comes from Gator Parking. There are five lots to choose from, giving Gator loyalists an opportunity to select their perfect plan. No spot is too far away from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. It also provides fans a chance to secure a spot for the entirety of the season, so you won’t have to find a new place on a weekly basis. For non-tailgaters, a park-and-go option is also available.

The five locations:

  • NW 19th St. & NW 2nd Ave.
  • NW 2nd Ave. between 19th & 20th St.
  • 216 NW 20th Terrace
  • NW 19th St. & NW 3rd Ave.
  • 120 NW 15th St. (Park-and-Go)

REVELxp

  • Locations: Gator Walk Village & Reitz Union Lawn
  • Price: $400-$2,700
  • Website

Enjoy the luxuries of tailgating without the hassle of doing it yourself. REVELxp provides a great option for Gator fans who would like to enjoy more of a stress-free Saturday. The experts in “elite fan experiences” offer a variety of packages, ranging from a simplistic setup to a full-scale operation, complete with a media package and potential catering options.

There are two locations to select from, both located right outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Talk about convenience.

Gators RV City

  • Location: Condron Family Ballpark (Hull Rd. & Museum Dr.)
  • Price: Inquire for details
  • Website

Those wanting to enjoy a longer stay in Gainesville — and bringing an RV to town — might want to look into a parking spot in “Gators RV City.” This is only an option for boosters, so you’ll need to contact UF Athletics if you’re hoping to secure one of these spaces.

RVs can begin arriving at 4 p.m. on Fridays before gameday. Overnight parking is also permitted at RV City. Yes, it’s two miles to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, but you get a pretty luxurious spot and the party can begin a little earlier.

Gainesville Tailgating FAQ Guide

What time can I set up my tailgate? The University of Florida allows tailgating to begin at 6 a.m. on gameday. Most fans should be able to start their mornings with a Bloody Mary and some bacon and eggs before the sun comes up.

Are grills allowed in tailgate lots? Yes! I mean, what’s tailgating without grilling? You must attend to your grill at all times, though, so keep that in mind while enjoying your pre-game party.

Where are restrooms located? Restrooms are located all over campus. You can find permanent structures at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex, James G. Pressly Stadium, Flavet Field Restroom Building, Reitz Union, UF Law School and Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Mobile restrooms are also scattered throughout campus.

Can I use electrical outlets? While certain lots permit electrical outlet usage, tailgaters are prohibited from using outlets connected to the University of Florida’s buildings.

When should I begin cleaning up? The school asks that you maintain a neat tailgate area at all times. All of your belongings and the general tailgate area must be put away no later than three hours after the game has ended.

Non-Tailgating Options in Gainesville on Gameday

Tailgating is a huge part of the gameday experience, especially in Gainesville. We know it’s not for everyone, though. Others might want to walk around town, stop into a bar or restaurant and enjoy the sights and sounds before kickoff.

If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered. There are dozens of bars and restaurants to hit up in and around the University of Florida on gameday. If the whole family is in town, there’s also a lot to see and do before the Gators take the field.

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