Bronco Football Not the Only Thing On The Rise!

Football is not the only thing on the rise at Bronco Stadium this fall. Tailgating--both in terms of the numbers of tailgates as well as those tailgating-- has increased dramatically. After extensive (and very enjoyable) research, this is what I discovered:

Boise State Tailgaters Step It Up!



            It wasn't too many years ago your average fan could drive into the Bronco Stadium parking lot, pay $5.00 and park their car 30 minutes before the Broncos were to grind it out on the Blue Turf. Then the general parking went away, and you had to be a BAA member. Again, you could get a parking spot 30 minutes before game time.

            Well, not anymore. That has all changed now hasn't it? Much to the chagrin of some season ticket holders, parking availability has become a contest in and of itself. Why? Might you ask why my little Bronco. Simple…TAILGATING! Yes tailgating is on a meteoric rise on par with the Broncos rise in the National Spotlight. And it has something for everyone.

Tailgating has long been a staple of pro and college football. Everyone has heard of the Lambeau crazies freezing there cheese off outside the frozen tundra prior to a game in Green Bay, or the Worlds Largest Cocktail party at the Georgia-Florida football game. It has taken awhile, but Boise is catching up with the rest, if not in size (due to the lack of a 70,000 seat stadium), at least in enthusiasm.  Tailgating has grown so large it has spread and filled the parks and parking lots away from the Stadium as well. Dare I say we can hang with most anyone?

            So lets' break it down shall we? There are 5 levels of tailgating to concern yourself with.


  1. THE RELAXERS: This is a breed of tailgater that is there to soak in the ambience of the moment but staying just outside the "circle of action" of the more serious tailgaters. You can spot them next to their car or truck, with Shakespeare fold up chairs. Sipping a favorite beverage and maybe munching on a bag of chips. They are usually found in pairs (read couples here). Usually middle age or older. Treat these people well. They usually have more income to give to the Broncos than others because they aren't spending every last dime to get that extra six pack for the tailgate.
  2. THE SOCIALIZERS: A jump up in intensity from the relaxers. This group is usually 4 to 8 people strong. They usually have a table setup with some nice dishes there for the picking. Because it's a smaller more intimate group than the larger tailgates, they sometimes make the mistake of leaving their food unguarded which gives the casual walker-by, a chance at a quick chicken wing. This group is into good conversation, and decorum is top notch.
  3. THE MOBILIZERS: This group can be found lined up against University drive and down the center of the west parking lot. This is the RV crowd. Get to know these folks. Although fairly subdued in their partying techniques, they put on one hell of a spread. It's not unusual to find ham, chicken, steak, pork, and fresh seafood all at one gathering. The side dishes include an eclectic mix of casseroles, vegetables, jellos, puddings, cakes, and pies. These people actually WORK to outdo each others dishes. There is pride on the line here, and they take it serious.
  4. THE REVELERS: This group is a step below the last group (THE DIE HARDS), because one has to really wonder their allegiance to the Blue and Orange. These are outstanding Tailgates that are run by corporations schmoozing clients. Sure the corporations will always be there, but some of the followers may not. There is now the tent village available, but the real parties are held in the parking lot right next to the other huddled masses. What these tailgates specialize in is not food, but alcohol. Sure you can snag a Chorizo, or a hot wing when your there. But more importantly, the alcohol flows wildly and best of all FREELY! Yep you heard me right. Fake like you're a realtor, lender, salesman or title company rep and you will have all the free libations you can handle. These tailgates don't even slow down during the game and they go well after the game also. One in particular brings a trailer with 20 something aged girls (hopefully) that dance to the beat while they serve you your drink of choice. There are even neon lights to assist in getting the party started. After the game dance music roars and "mingling" begins.
  5. THE DIE HARDS: (BroncoCountry style) this is the fearsome bunch, the ones that are there 10 hours before the game starts. They serve breakfast burritos in the morning, a hot dog at lunch, and then slap a steak on the grill prior to game time. There is an abundance alcohol here and it sometimes flows out of control (see BadWillHunting). The conversation here is much more about sports and in particular Bronco related, than the revelers who are usually just trying to get their "groove on". The food here is outstanding as well, much like that of the Mobilizers. However, instead of being served on fine china with wine, you're more likely to eat the food with your hands and swig it down with a can of Bud. The cornerstone of the DIEHARDS is the bar-b-que. Always hot and ready for another piece of mystery meat to be scorched on it. The taste doesn't matter; it's the thought that counts at this shin-dig. When the cold weather comes, expect a wide variety of chili to be slow cooking as well. A big giant pot of heartburn awaits you at every DIEHARD tailgate.

Most importantly with the diehards, they are there rain or shine, sleet or snow, warm or butt numbing cold. If the weather gets a bit too cold, they fire up the portable heaters and huddle under canopies to stay dry. This is the party that would blend in with the Lambeau crowd. And they are growing in popularity. 5 years ago you might see 10 or 12 Diehard tailgates. Now they are everywhere.

            Tailgating has definitely come of age at Bronco Stadium, sure its not Lambeau in December, but it's just as intense only on a smaller scale. And the news about our tailgating is spreading; Clemson, Georgia Tech, Iowa State and others have come to give their props on the Broncos brand of tailgating. They have been amazed at the dedication (and food selection) our tailgates have come to represent.

            Whether you're a "relaxer" or a "diehard", there truly is something for everyone prior to game time at Bronco stadium. I have not even touched on the Torch tailgate (did I say "touch"), the local rock bands playing, the Alumni center tailgate, or the radio remotes that offer food. So next time you head to Bronco Stadium, come hungry, and you better leave 3-4 hours early or consider walking because Tailgating has arrived at Bronco Stadium!






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