Fall weather, football, baseball, hotdogs, grilling…what does this all have to do with your boat? Tailgating prior to your favorite sporting event is no longer limited to the back of an SUV or a pop up tent. Sports fanatics are taking to the water! Stadiums around the country are attracting a new breed of fan….the sailgator.
Sailgating, also known as boatgating, stern-gating or transom-gating, over the past few years has become a remarkable avenue for boaters to take advantage of their pre-game traditions from the comfort and convenience of their boat. Game day commences with relaxing on the water, which makes you wonder why you ever sat in pre-game traffic.
One of the many benefits of sailgating includes a more relaxing game day. You don’t have to lug around your cooler or grill – they’re easily accessible right from your boat.
Here’s a list of sailgating friendly stadiums…
AT&T Park (San Francisco, Calif.)
One of the most scenic stadiums, AT&T Park is located right on the San Francisco Bay with a plethora of boating options available nearby. Countless home runs have made a “splash” into the Bay. Sailgating options are available at South Beach Harbor. You can even see the scoreboard and replay screens from your boat in McCovey Cove. More information: SouthBeachHarbor.com
Citi Field (New York, N.Y.)
Who wants to be stuck on the subway on game day? Get on a boat and leisurely float past the Statue of Liberty, taking in the Manhattan skyline. Docking is available at the World Fair’s Marina, only a short jaunt from the stadium. Tennis sailgators can cheer on the U.S. Open on the water too! More information: NYCGovParks.org or 718-478-0480
EverBank Field (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Floridians are fortunate to have ideal boating weather most of the year. Game day from the water is a sight to see! The rumble of the stadium cheers can be heard throughout the Metropolitan Park Marina on the St. Johns River, which is walking distance from the stadium. Eighty slips, accommodating boats up to 80 feet long, are offered. This is also the park that hosts the annual Gator Bowl, as well as the battle between the University of Florida and the Georgia Bulldogs. More information: COJ.com or 904-355-4857
Heinz Field (Pittsburgh, Penn.)
Although this stadium does not offer 57 varieties like its namesake, it is located on the banks of Pittsburgh’s three famous rivers – Monongahela, Ohio and Allegheny. Many diehard fans arrive several days in advance to obtain prime docking and mooring spots along the Allegheny’s North Shore. More information: BoatLocal.com/Pittsburgh or 412 -355-7980
Husky Stadium (Seattle, Wash.)
Husky fans can arrive by boat, moor in Lake Washington, and climb aboard the shuttle boat to the University of Washington Stadium. Game day scenery includes the pristine Cascades and serene Lake Washington. It has been a longstanding tradition for Husky fans to arrive at the stadium via boat and the renovations have kept that tradition intact. More information: HuskyStadium.com or 206-543-4895
Nationals Park (Washington, D.C.)
Gangplank Marina offers over 300 slips in the protected waters of the Potomac River’s Washington Channel, allowing baseball fans an ideal spot for sailgating. When the pre-game festivities are completed at the marina, simply hop on a water taxi, which makes drops at the Diamond Teague Park, the closest location to the ballpark. More information: GangPlank.com or 202-554-5000
Neyland Stadium (Knoxville, Tenn.)
The VOL Navy Boaters Association takes sailgating to a new level! They are an infamous group of football and boating connoisseurs who arrive by boat to cheer on the Tennessee Volunteers football team. On the bank of the Tennessee River in Knoxville, Volunteer Landing is a three-mile riverwalk that is home to a visitor center, full-service marina and plenty of good restaurants. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear “Rocky Top” amidst the sea of orange and white. More information: TheMarinas.net or 865-633-5004
Why not enjoy the best of both worlds – sports and boating. Start sailgating today!