New traditions for tailgating season

New traditions for tailgating season

How OnStar can help you enjoy your next tailgate experience

Tailgating is a time-honored tradition dating back to the mid-1800s — before football was mainstream and automobiles existed — but tailgating as we know it today was first documented in 1906 at a Yale University football game. 


Since then, tailgating has grown and become a true indicator that fall is here. Tailgate events bring hundreds (sometimes thousands) of die-hard fans together to get hyped up for the game. Laughter, fight songs and cheers fill the air, which also usually smells of smoky barbecue and burgers. And there’s never a shortage of games to join as you walk through rows of pickup trucks, trailers, buses and other decked out vehicles.

As America’s favorite pastime, tailgating has evolved over the years, but one thing remains true: it’s all about the comradery, food and socializing. Here are a few newer traditions from around the country that happen outside the classic vehicle tailgate.


Pre-gaming on the water

With stadiums located alongside rivers, universities in Waco, Texas, and Knoxville, Tennessee, are well-known for hosting sailgating events where — you guessed it — fans tailgate on their boats. Many fans relax on board as they watch the game, while others dock their boat and head into the stadium.


Revving up in railroad cars

In South Carolina, university football fans can tailgate just 50 yards from the entrance of the stadium in renovated railroad caboose cars. The cabooses-turned-condos are privately owned, but fans can enjoy congregating near the train car tailgate.


Block party bonanza

Every Sunday in Seattle, Washington, an organized block party is hosted for its pro football team on Utah Avenue with music, food and beverages. Hundreds of people come to the event, so if you need a place to meet up, look for the blue-and-green-painted 40-foot RV that houses team memorabilia. 


How to prep for an enjoyable tailgate experience

Here are five tips on how to use OnStar throughout a fun-filled day of tailgating:


1. Get there safely

The drive to a tailgate often leads to traffic jams and taking unfamiliar streets. If you’re driving, OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation* is there whenever you need it. Perhaps you’ve misplaced the directions and can’t access your mobile device, or maybe you thought you knew your way around a little better than you actually do. This is when you can easily request directions by pushing your blue OnStar button. Advisors can download Turn-by-Turn directions right to your vehicle so you’re not late for the festivities.  

Additionally, all OnStar Members have 24/7 access to Roadside Assistance.* So if something unexpected happens on your way to the stadium, push the blue OnStar button and an OnStar Advisor can help.  

2. Download the OnStar Guardian app

Tailgating is usually a fun experience for all, but if you encounter an emergency situation or just need reassurance that someone is looking out for you, the OnStar Guardian® app* is a reliable tool to have downloaded and ready to go on your phone.  

The Guardian app allows you to bring key OnStar safety services wherever you go — whether you’re tailgating or walking to the stadium. OnStar Advisors are trained to assist you with everything from first aid to walking through crowded tailgating events — they’ll stay on the phone with you if you’re feeling unsure about your surroundings.


3. Amp up the party with Wi-Fi

Newer OnStar-equipped vehicles come with an available built-in Wi-Fi® Hotspot* that turns your vehicle into a reliable mobile hub with great signal quality and bandwidth. If you have a paid data plan, friends and family can connect up to seven devices to stream the game, surf the web, listen to music and more. Plug in a TV to watch the game or use a Bluetooth speaker to listen to your favorite playlist. You’ll be glad to have a hotspot powered by your vehicle, so you’re not reliant on a mobile device battery.  

4. Party in numbers

Socializing is what makes tailgating so fun, so stick with a group whenever possible. Keep the Guardian app easily accessible on your phone, just in case something unexpected happens. You can share the app with up to seven friends or family members,* which comes in handy if you want to see when they’ll arrive at the tailgate or check that they made it home safely. Simply use the Location Status* feature to see where they are.  

5. Stay hydrated

Tailgating events regularly start before dawn and end after dusk — all depends on how die-hard of a fan you are. If you plan to drink alcohol, don’t forget to also drink water throughout the day. A good way to slow the rate of alcohol consumption is to alternate every other drink with a nonalcoholic option like sparkling water or soda. It’s also OK to stay sober!


The most important part of every tailgate event is to enjoy yourself, so don’t forget to pick a designated driver and pace yourself for a fun-filled day packed with delicious food, entertaining side games and close friends. Whether your team wins or loses, there’s always the next game to improve your tailgate setup and come better prepared.  

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