If you’re headed out for a soccer match or another event at the Georgia Dome this summer, you may think that tailgating isn’t allowed outside of the American football season. Never fear, you can pre-party during the summer months too. As long as you obey a few simple rules of the stadium, you and your friends can have a great time before and during your event.
Finding the Perfect Space
First of all, be sure that your vehicle only takes up one parking space. You may be tempted to park across several spaces to reserve room for your crew, but that is not allowed. If your friends want to park next to you, they need to show up on time, as saving spaces is not permitted. You may find that, in typical Southern courtesy, people will try to give each other space, but if an event is extremely popular, you’ll want to get there at the same time as your friends if you want to park together.
Avoid setting up your tents or other tailgating gear in a manner that impedes traffic or extends beyond your parking space. Check out how your fellow tailgaters are setting up their equipment for examples of ways to make the most of your spot. This rule also applies to grills, chairs, coolers and any other tailgating equipment; stick to your own space, located directly behind your vehicle, and you’ll be fine.
Discovering New and Old Friends
If you aren’t the one responsible for bringing the party to this event, you may want to consider taking MARTA or Uber to the game. Traffic can be a pain, especially with the construction going on around the Dome and the World Congress Center this year, and parking is at a premium now more than ever.
Tailgating is allowed in the flat parking lots at the Dome but is not permitted in the multi-level garages, so you should be able to find your friends easily if you take public transportation to the event. As a bonus, you don’t have to worry about driving after partying or finding a designated driver.
You may see a grassy space and think that it is fair game for tailgating, but just remember that you can’t claim the area and it is available for all partiers to share. In line with this rule, just generally try to be respectful of the area, and clean up your own trash after your party, including disposing of any coal remnants in the designated containers provided throughout the lots rather than around or under your vehicle.
Be sure to follow the instructions or any stadium personnel in order to ensure that you will be allowed to stick around, as they have the ability to eject you from the lot. No one wants to spoil the fun before the event even starts. Certain activities are prohibited on site, including deep fryers or oil-based cooking, open-flame fires, disorderly conduct, picketing or political campaigning, weapons, selling food or merchandise or vulgar language or music. Also, even if it’s around the 4th of July, fireworks are not allowed.
If you’re hanging out outside during the summer months in Georgia, and particularly if you’re having a beer or two, you’ll want to remember to pack the sunscreen, hats and maybe an umbrella for shade. The sun feels great at first, but you don’t want to end up wearing the Falcons’ signature red all over your face by the end of the day.
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Keely Herrick is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.