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Best Tailgate Spots at Ohio State

Tailgating before the Ohio State football game

Tailgating for an Ohio State Buckeye’s game is almost as great as going to the game itself. Crazed Buckeye football fans decked in scarlet and grey arrive in droves along the banks of the Olentangy River.  Portable grills, cornhole and flat screen televisions often accompany RV’s, trucks or cars parked near Ohio Stadium sometimes as early as 3:00 a.m. the morning of game day.

Ohio State Buckeye fans are some of the most dedicated fans in all of NCAA football and if you have ever made it to the Shoe on game day, you will see why. There are many options when it comes to the best tailgating spots. Below is a list of bars and locations that will make your pre-game festivities around the ‘Shoe unforgettable.

1. Little Bar

Located on North High Street, this college bar is by far the most rowdy on game-days. Whether you are looking to party before, during or after the game, Little Bar is the ideal spot for a fan looking for a good time. Beware, if you can’t handle a massive party on game-days, Little Bar isn’t for you.

2. Eddie George Grille

This is the restaurant of former Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George so obviously Buckeye fans are going to embrace this destination. If you are looking for a bar to pre-game that is a little less rowdy than Little Bar but still a great time, Eddie George’s will certainly do the trick. Additionally, Eddie’s has a great food menu and their cheeseburger is a must have!

3. Parking Lots West of SR-315

There are several different locations where Ohio State fans gather to tailgate. The first are the Day-of-Game lots. West of SR-315 on the west side of campus, these lots, many of them free on a first come first serve basis open at 6:00 a.m. Some lots will charge $10 per vehicle. Many people will try to get spots that are close to each other so it is easier to set up and socialize.

4. Permit Lots 

Permit lots are those lots that are reserved for people with parking permits for that lot and are located immediately to the west of Ohio Stadium, closer to the stadium than the Day-of-Game lots. There is still a lot of tailgating that takes place here, but it is similar to the Day-of-Game lots. If you have a friend who is hosting a tailgate in the permit lots, you’ll have a blast. If you are just going solo, you’ll have more fun in the lots West of SR-315.

5. RV Lots: 

RV lots are great for bringing the entire family or group of friends in one vehicle. These lots are situated next to Bill Davis Stadium and where most tailgating occurs. Consider yourself fortunate if you know someone with an RV parking pass to Ohio State games. The tailgate will a days festivity that you’ll never forget.

The hours of fans tailgating depend on the scale of game the Buckeyes are playing in. For bigger games, you will sometimes see people starting as early as 3:00 a.m. Smaller games will usually start tailgating around 6:00 a.m. With game time usually being around 12:00 p.m. you will see the crowd starting to thin out well before that as the gates open at 10:00 a.m. Many people will just stay and keep tailgating and just watch the game from their own satellite televisions.

There are a few restrictions for tailgaters, but behavior should always comply with the law and represent the university in the highest fashion. Here is a list of what is allowed, and what is not.

Portable Grill – The bigger the better.
Portable Generator – If you want to power electronic devices, such as a television.
Space Heater – This is definitely useful late in the season when it gets cold.
Great Food – Grilled or smoked meats, wings, and chili are some of the most popular options, but there are many more.
Cornhole Boards and Bags – This is without a doubt the most popular tailgating pastime.
Satellite TV- If you plan on tailgating all day and not going in the stadium, you will definitely need a satellite TV.
Folding Tables, Canopies, and Lawn Chairs – These are a must!
Ohio State Banners and Paraphernalia – These demonstrate the true Buckeyes fan in you.
What’s Not Allowed
Portable Grill – Cannot have these in an indoor parking facility, only outdoor.
Portable Generator – Cannot have these in an indoor parking facility, only outdoor.
Open Containers – Ohio law prohibits the use of open alcohol container in public spaces.
There are also many great bars close to the stadium that serve as an alternative to tailgating. A lot of Buckeye fans will chose this option, as it is a social gathering place for all to root on the Bucks together. Some bars close to the stadium include Eddie George Grill, Little Bar, Buffalo Wild Wings, The O Patio & Pub, and Too’s Spirits Under High.

The Schottenstein Real Estate Group is a proud supporter of The Ohio State Buckeyes. With apartment communities in Columbus and the surrounding areas, we would like to offer our fellow Buckeye fan residents the best opportunities to enjoy their favorite team.