RANKED! The Best Cities For Tailgating to Kick Off Tonight’s NFL Season
We’ve been anticipating this week since the last Super Bowl, and it’s finally arrived: tailgating season. The NFL season finally kicks off today, but whether you’re a critical Cowboys fan, a bitter Browns backer, or a pompous Patriots devotee, you’re going to throw on a jersey, paint your face, and stand out in a parking lot grilling brats and tossing back tasty beers. OK, maybe not all of those, but definitely the latter! But not every tailgate is created equal. Some cities just know how to party more. Regardless of the reason, some football tailgates are better than others, which is why we decided to rank the best tailgate cities in the NFL.
Cover: Sean Murphy (Getty)
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6. Houston (Best Weather Without Being a Dolphins Fan)
Fans of Texans don’t have to worry about hurricanes like some of the other top tailgate destinations. That doesn't mean you can't start up a storm in the parking lot! They love football in the Lone Star State (Friday Night Lights, duh), and you can bet it all that the food and drinks will be flowing. Plus, you don't have to go to Florida.
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5. Green Bay (Easiest Team to Hate)
Green Bay is one of the OG NFL franchises and its fans are so obsessed with this team (some obsessed with hating it), so much so you have to pay to see it. No weather will get these tailgaters down, guaranteed.
Photo: Stacy Revere (Getty Images)
4. Pittsburgh (Winning City)
Like the Patriots, Steelers fans have been lucky enough to see a winner on the field pretty much every season. Like Buffalo and Cleveland, they need to bundle up for much of the season. But they’ll still be rocking in the parking lot from September to January.
Photo: Ronald Martinez (Getty Images)
3. Cleveland (Low Expectations)
Cleveland fans are used to losing so they come ready to party rain or shine, win or most likely lose. This year, expectations for the team are the highest they've been since Vinny Testaverde was quarterback. Plus, it's Cleveland, what the hell else is there to do?
Photo: Angelo Merendino (Getty Images)
2. Kansas City (Best Food)
Chiefs fans are pretty passionate about their team. They’re also passionate about their barbecue and you can bet a tailgate in KC will be filled with saucy ribs, smoked chicken, and brisket. It doesn't hurt there's actual football there, too.
Photo: Icon Sportswire (Getty Images)
1. Buffalo (Most Rowdy)
There are few fans in the NFL rowdier than red, white, and blue-clad revelers in Buffalo. They party so much that YouTube videos of their Labbat Blue-fueled hijinks make news every season. It doesn't hurt you're in New York, which has about a hundred other major sports teams with equally awesome tailgating experiences (and real-life experiences, too.)
Photo: Tom Szczerbowski (Getty Images)