Food & Drink

A 12th Man Guide To Tailgating

When your blood runs green and blue, here’s how to tailgate like a true 12

By Maggie Kerr August 27, 2018


This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Seattle magazine.

This article appears in print in the September 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Catching the game on TV garbed in team colors is fine, but during home games, the most dedicated Seahawks fans take it to the next level. Want to join them this year? You have options. Head to the fenced-off, pedestrian-based Hawk Alley Tailgate area (Pioneer Square, 2200 Utah Ave. S), or drive your vehicle to a tailgate lot.

For tips on tailgating Seahawks style, we consulted Frazer Loveman, manager of Beast Bus (the nonprofit that started the donation-based Hawk Alley Tailgate), and longtime season ticket holder and tailgater (and Tukwila’s Foster High School football coach) Nick Cairns.

1. Early hawk gets the spot. CenturyLink Field doesn’t allow tailgating on its property (except in the North Lot, reserved for season ticket holders). Prime tailgating spots are primarily south of the stadium in private parking lots (costs vary, $20‒$40) or on the street. To secure a spot, arrive by about 8 a.m.

2. Don’t forget the meat. Before game day, break out the slow cooker and prepare your favorite pulled pork recipe, the meat of choice for tailgating. This easy meal travels well and allows you to leave the Coleman stove at home.

3. Color-coordinate your accessories. Whatever your beverage of choice (and remember, public consumption of alcohol is illegal), put it in a cup. Cairns recommends the classic plastic cup—in blue, natch.

4. Pack in, pack out. Clean up your area by bringing your own trash bags. And because you’re in Seattle, don’t forget to designate one of them for recycling.

5. Have a restroom strategy. Portable toilets are few and far between in some areas. Have a plan (hey, that RV comes in handy here).

6. Dress appropriately. Wear as much green and blue as possible (obviously!), and when the weather turns cool, Loveman recommends a snood (a scarf and hood combo), his line of defense against the winds that prevail just south of the stadium.

7. Prepare a game-day playlist. Cairns recommends “locker-room aggressive” tunes: high-energy rock and hip-hop. But mind who your opponent is; for each game, Cairns removes artists originating from the opposing team’s state.

8. Join the community. Bring games (like cornhole, a bean-bag toss game) and engage with others. Otherwise, says Loveman, you’re just left standing around drinking beer (in a designated area, of course).

9. Be respectful. Tailgaters are often the “first responders” for the overly excited or intoxicated. Game day is a family event—surround yourself with responsible fans.

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