The Top 10 Cities for Grilling In The NFL

Tailgating. The right of passage for sports fans in America. On any given Sunday in the Fall, parking lots in NFL cities swell with thousands of grill masters cooking up a wide variety of specialty foods. From porter house steaks, meticulously marinated in a secret passed down recipe to full pig roasts (we’re looking at you Oakland) the food choices are endless. Having the proper tools could be the difference between a Gatorade shower and a tailgate shunning. When it comes to grilling there is Coleman’s NXT Grill and there is everything else. This compact beast fits 18 burgers at one time, 20,000 BTUs for cooking intensity, and folds like a Transformer allowing it to fit in your trunk with ease. Did we mention the no-spill grease cup that prevents grease stains while you’re hauling it? Anyone who’s ever tried to lug a greasy travel grill home knows the crime scene, you could open up your trunk to.

If all that talk of tailgating, football and pig roasts isn’t getting you antsy enough for the season to kick-off, we’re about to put it over the edge.

Over the next four weeks we are going to highlight RSVLTS official guide to tailgating by revealing the top 10 cities for tailgate grilling in the NFL. Today we’re going to count down 10 through 4. We’re letting the top three cities marinate, releasing another city every Friday until  September 4th keep checking back each Friday as we approach number one.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers

There is no denying that the Steelers have one of the most dedicated fan bases in the world. Just look at their highly successful “Terrible Towel” marketing campaign that has been duplicated hundreds of times over by sporting teams and corporations. At a tailgate you’ll meet plenty of fans who are willing to share their food and keep an eye out for over the top Steeler tailgate vehicles, they do at as well or better than any team in the league. A few pro-tips to keep in mind: 1) You can get parking passes for cheap on eBay. 2) All the good chefs hang out in Blue Lots 7F & 7H so if you have a meal you want to serve up, head there and if you want to try the fare, make sure you bring some cash and pay it forward.

Stadium Name: Heinz Field
Stadium Capacity: 65,050
Hours before kick-off the parking lot opens: 5
Parking Cost: $10-$50 (official guide here)
Signature Food: Steak
Average High Temperature in August: 80°F
Average Temperature in January: 37°F

9. Denver Broncos

Denver is the craft beer capital of America and at a Broncos tailgate, you’ll meet what many consider to be the nicest fanbase in all of the NFL. It must be all that mile high air, or the lack of it we should say. Now that the Broncos have a Super Bowl contending team, the tailgate scene is certainly something you need to experience. Last year they set their franchise’s all-time season ticket record and this year will probably exceed that. Denver is a unique experience, because unlike many stadiums in the NFL parking is extremely limited. The team recently cut RV parking in half to only 25 spots, which makes the true loyalists that much more grateful to have the rare spot. Because space is so coveted, fans take it to the next level, when afforded the opportunity to grill at the stadium. Walk through the lots and you get an eclectic blend of traditional tailgate food and crazy concoctions. If someone tries to convince you to eat the Rocky Mountain Oysters, PASS!

Stadium Name: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Stadium Capacity: 76,125
Hours before kick-off the parking lot opens: 5
Parking Cost: $30
Signature Food: Rocky Mountain Oysters
Average High Temperature in August: 84°F
Average Temperature in January: 40°F

8. Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns take a ridiculous amount of pride in their tailgate vehicles. From “The Kennel,” a traditional orange and brown school bus, to the legendary Tailgate Dawg, a bus with a dog head on the front, you’ll see it all in the Muni Lot. Since tailgating is a religion for Browns fan you can also expect amazing food too. You probably won’t see anything too far outside the box, but why mess with a good thing when you’ve perfected the art of grilling the perfect burger? Classic American tailgating at it’s finest. Browns fans know what to expect from their team and from their tailgate, which is why they take so much pride in their tailgating… Welcome to Cleveland.

Stadium Name: FirstEnergy Stadium
Stadium Capacity: 73,200
All Time Home Record: 41-71
Hours before kick-off the parking lot opens: 6 AM
Parking Cost: $20-25
Signature Food: Hamburgers
Average High Temperature in August: 79°F
Average Temperature in January: 42°F

7. New England Patriots

The stark difference between the Cleveland Browns (#8) and the Patriots coming in at #7 is simply wins. The New England Patriots are highly successful and the Browns… not so much. Both tailgates parallel their team’s team style, where the Browns tailgates are a bit of a free for all, the Patriots have a highly regimented system with rules up the wazoo. This probably stems from the fact that the Patriots have played more NFL games that any other team in the league in the last decade. Once you’re in the lot be ready to meet some of the most diehard, experienced tailgaters in the league. If you’re planning on going to a game try to perfect the beer brat, you’ll see lobsters, ‘chowdahs’ and plenty of seafood, but the beer brats are far and away the signature food. Also, if you want to be a grilling pro in New England, make sure you bring double the meat because they allow post game tailgating for two hours after the final snap.

Stadium Name: Gillette Stadium
Stadium Capacity: 68,756
Hours before kick-off the parking lot opens: 4
Parking Cost: $40
Signature Food: Beer brats
Average High Temperature in August: 79°F
Average Temperature in January: 38°F

6. Philadelphia Eagles

Ask any sports fan which city has the most (we’ll call them) “hardcore” fans and everyone will probably settle on Philadelphia. But don’t let a few bad apples ruin the bunch, because no matter what you’ve heard in the past, their fans are as nice as they are passionate. The City of Brotherly Love is known for their signature cheese steaks, but if you’re looking to grill something up in the lot, head to Pagano’s Market before the game and pick up some fresh Italian sausage. As they say, “the way to any football fans heart is through their stomach” and if you’re cooking up dozens of spicy sausages on your NXT Grill, you’ll be the most popular set-up in the lot.

Stadium Name: Lincoln Financial Field
Stadium Capacity: 68,532
Hours before kick-off the parking lot opens: 5
Parking Cost: $25
Signature Food: Italian sausage
Average High Temperature in August: 84°F
Average Temperature in January: 43°F

5. Baltimore Ravens

Crabcakes and football! That’s what Maryland does!” and how true it is. Drive an RV down to M&T Bank Stadium and you’ll verify that Lot H might be some of the most hardcore tailgaters in the league. Now that they are the reigning Super Bowl champs it’s a given that their fans will come out in mass to cook up crab cakes and play drinking games. Pro tip: don’t get left out of the lots, they only sell advance parking permits so make sure you purchase before the game.

Stadium Name: M&T Bank Stadium
Stadium Capacity: 71,008
Hours before kick-off the parking lot opens: 5
Parking Cost: $12
Signature Food: Crab Cakes
Average High Temperature in August: 85°F
Average Temperature in January: 48°F

4. Kansas City Chiefs

This is a no brainer. Arrowhead is one of the largest and loudest stadiums in the NFL and has a rare distinction of offering overnight parking ($90 if you buy in advance). They share a park lot with the Royals, so it’s probably the largest in the league with a whopping the 26,000 spaces in total! The parking lot situation is really hard to fathom. Imagine a sea of vehicles stretching out to the flat KC horizon upon a sky of smoke and heat rising from the entire parking lot. BBQ is a way of life in Kansas City so be ready for more styles than you’ll be able to eat. Bring your appetite because everyone is absurdly friendly and willing to share their own unique recipe. Pro tip: Bleach your hair, wear a bowling shirt and put your sunglasses on backwards. BBQ grillers will mistake you for celebrity chef, Guy Fieri, and will fight to the death for an opportunity to get “Guy” to try their special sauce.

Stadium Name: Arrowhead Stadium
Stadium Capacity: 79,451
Hours before kick-off the parking lot opens: 3.5
Parking Cost: $27
Signature Food: BBQ
Average High Temperature in August: 89°F
Average Temperature in January: 42°F

Check back next Friday as we announce the 3rd best city for tailgating in the NFL.