There are few things I love more than football. That list includes my beautiful girlfriend, my family, my friends and my job. I am all kinds of excited to say that the National Football League has kicked off its preseason! Our beloved Detroit Lions will give us a glimpse of what this season may hold this Saturday, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. as the team faces off against the Cleveland Browns. Of course the starters will only play about five snaps, but hey, it’s still football!
There is a common activity that often takes place before the doors at Ford Field open and the pigskin starts flying around—tailgating. If you are planning on heading to Downtown Detroit for the game this weekend, or any game this season for that matter, then there are a few things you should know.
Tailgating Hot Spots:
Eastern Market continues to make our list of places to tailgate in Detroit. It is the largest tailgating location near Ford Field. You must purchase a $40 pass per game to tailgate here, but it is worth it. You’ll need plenty of room for your tailgating activities and Eastern Market provides that, accommodating 750 spaces northeast of the stadium. It is a brief 10 minute walk to the stadium, so you can walk off some of the calories from those three bratwursts you just consumed and the beers you just guzzled down. However, there is also a shuttle that runs every 15 minutes—you’ll burn off those calories cheering for the Lions anyways, right? It is $5 for a round trip shuttle ticket. The parking lots are open for tailgating four hours prior to each game and close one hour after each game. Here is a map of the parking lot and places to purchase your pass.
Beaubien and Congress Parking Lot offers a cheaper alternative than that of Eastern Market. Located near the Renaissance Center, it is a mere seven blocks away from Ford Field sitting on the southeast corner of Beaubien Street and Congress Street. It is the former home of Detroittailgate.com (which switched locations due to an increase in people) and was the location chosen for the Super Bowl XL Tailgate Party in 2006. It is not as big as Eastern Market, but provides a more intimate tailgating experience for just $15 (price may vary).
Beginning Sunday, Sept. 21, check out Pride Plaza on Brush Street, which is a free tailgate location offering live entertainment, activities and many local food and drink vendors.
There are many lots to park in and tailgate in Downtown Detroit. Lots on the west side of Gratiot and off of Woodward are common spots. Here is a map of popular tailgating lots in Detroit. Fair warning, tailgating is prohibited in parking facilities adjacent to Ford Field.
There you have it, your own personal tailgating guide. Of course, these are just a few tips and suggestions regarding what to do and where to go, but there are several other activities and places you can go that I did not mention. Drink responsibly and Go Lions!