USC Football Team

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USC Football Team

The big concern of the USC football team is that visiting fans might fear the local neighborhood. The Memorial Coliseum is in South Central Los Angeles, which still has a reputation for violence and crime, but on game days the whole atmosphere changes. Tailgating is a big part of the pre-game build up, and fans have the choice to tailgate on site, find their own spots, or join some of the big tailgate parties without a car.

Tailgating On Site

If you want to be close to the stadium when you tailgate, the USC team allows all fans the right to party within the parking lots. Three big lots with spaces for over 10,000 vehicles are within a five-minute walk of the USC football team stadium. Each of them will cost around $25 for the day, but security guards patrol them and lock the gates when the game kicks off.

The usual tailgating rule that forbids using more than one space applies and while you can drink alcohol from open containers, the USC football team recommends disposable cups if you plan to leave the parking lot. Most of the USC games start at noon or 1 pm so that the East Coast can watch, so you will find plenty of parties already started around 8 a.m. If you plan to drink, buy your supplies ahead of time, as many local shops close at this time.

Trojan Fan Fest

Photo courtesy of Hot Rod Homepage

The Trojan Fan Fest is the official tailgate party of the USC football team. It is located on Christmas Tree Lane, which is directly opposite the east end of the stadium. It is a free entry, which opens three hours before kick off on every home game. The Fan Fest is a family event, so many inflatables, games and competitions targeted for kids, as well as visits from the Trojan’s mascot and local radio station broadcasts happen here.

Trojan Tailgate Club

The idea of finding somewhere to park and party intimidates some travelling fans. If this sounds like you, you should get in touch with the organizers of the Trojan Tailgate Club. They set up a couple of big tents on the north side of the Memorial Coliseum on State Drive a few hours ahead of game time and have a well stocked bar and barbeque for fans of both teams. The club is remarkably well prepared with wide screen TVs showing the pre-game interviews and analysis as well as Sirius radio set ups that broadcast the play by plays from other games around the country.

Arrive Early

The noon kick offs mean that all the tailgating activities ahead of a Trojans home game takes place in the early morning. The official parking lots open four hours ahead of the kick off, but you will see lines of traffic backing up three miles as early as 5 am. Unlike other college teams, you cannot buy parking passes ahead of time so entrance into the lots is on a first come first served basis. If you decide that you want to party on campus close to the stadium, be prepared for an early start and a long wait with other fans.

Above all, the USC football team is keen for all fans to have a safe and enjoyable day. The atmosphere in and around the stadium is very friendly, but like all college games, some fans may cause trouble. Security guards are attentive to any problems, and the USC sports directors impose lifetime bans on anyone that security ejects from a game. The family friendly atmosphere continues during the game with lots of activities and competitions to get younger fans involved.

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