Tips, traditions and advice from a Washington insider on the best ways to tailgate at a Huskies game this college football season.
Sean Underwood, a University of Washington student and a self-proclaimed "Life Long Dawg Fanatic" explains the uniqueness of Sailgating and the importance of layering.
What’s the best way to get to the stadium/where should you park? Coming from anywhere southwest, the light rail is the move. It’s $2.50 a ride and drops you off right at the stadium. Coming from the east side I would look to the metro, but if you are driving the trick is to go find parking up North of 45th street. It’s a longer walk but realistically the only place to find street parking.
How to dress? DRESS IN LAYERS AND GRAB THE FIREBALL! Seattle is not intolerably cold, but late October onwards it is quite wet. The move is ALWAYS to dress in layers and expect it to rain. I like to go for the husky cutoff, sweatshirt, t-shirt, rain jacket approach. That normally keeps me warm. Gloves are always a good choice.
What traditions set the school apart? If you come to Washington and don’t sailgate you’re doing it wrong. It is the most unique way to tailgate in the country and provides fans with an awesome experience they can find no where else: You roll up on a boat to the east side of the stadium and literally tailgate on a yacht. Aside from feeling like an absolute highroller, the view is incredible, there are tons of boats out there, and the atmosphere is an absolute party. In the early part of the season if it’s warm, you’ll see all sorts of antics on the water.
Another great tradition is our unofficial fight song. “Tequila” by the Champs is an absolute staple of Husky Tailgating. Play that bad boy on max volume and you’ll have every tailgate in the area bouncing. Bring your bag of limes and salt and offer them to the surrounding parties and they will happily accept.
What are the best things to eat at a typical UW tailgate? I think you’ve got to break out the grill and go with the classic chili dawg. The weather dictates that you eat something warm. However, if you can get your hands on some clam chowder, then you know you’ve really made it. As far as drinking goes, during the colder part of the season I ALWAYS go for fire-nog. A mix of fireball and egg-nog. It sounds gross but it keeps your insides warm. Be on the lookout for hurtling Rainer beer from the younger tailgaters, and some hopped up IPAs from the older ones. A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water for every standard drink you get to avoid the halftime hangover.
What’s the number one reason for college football fans to make tailgating at Washington a bucket-list item? If you think you can find a more aesthetically pleasing and beautiful setting in college football you’re deluding yourself. That middle of the country/ SEC vibe is nice but if you want something scenic you absolutely must travel to Washington. It is the Ritz Carlton of stadiums, renovated in 2013 with a ballistic atmosphere, a huge internal tailgating area called “The Zone” and home to the baddest group of men to ever don the color purple.
Anything else to know? Quick shout out to the fans. People know that Seattle is a football city but they can’t truly understand until they go. Even though the stadium doesn’t pack as many as Michigan, Oklahoma, etc. it packs the same punch. This place is LOUD as f***. The students are a mess of purple passion, the young alumni section is one of the rowdiest in college football, and the boosters are up shouting and cheering all game. I guarantee no Pac-12 team looks forward to traveling to the Pacific Northwest, because the Dawgs, they out here to EAT.