We all love the atmosphere at a tailgate party, and it’s never better than right before an NFL game, one of the most popular sports in America! From grabbing drinks and some great food with your friends, to bringing along the whole family and seeing some of your favorite crowd regulars, tailgating just gets you hyped for the game ahead!

We wanted to find out, from the fans themselves, what their favourite tailgating experiences are, from the amount of money they end up spending, to how far they would go for their favorite tailgating parties! We also did a little digging to get the dirt from rival fans on who actually throws the best tailgate party. Get all the intel and survey feedback in our Tailgating Report below.


89% of NFL fans tailgate at least once a season

Tailgating is considered by many to be just as much a part of an NFL game as the game itself. In fact, nearly 90% of NFL fans will make sure they get to head to a tailgating party at least once per season, and typically fans will tailgate between 1-5 times a season (around 47%).

And when it comes to distance, the die-hard fans who make up about 12% of all NFL fans would actually travel over 500 miles for a tailgating party. The less dedicated amongst us (around 37% of fans) would only travel less than 100 miles to attend a tailgate – although you’ll be surprised at who the die-hard fans turn out to be! Females were much more likely to travel over 500 miles to tailgate, and 35–44-year-olds also made up most of that group of die-hard fans.

Burgers were voted as the most popular tailgate party food

Tailgate burgers received over half of the votes for the nation’s most popular tailgating food – and who could resist a classic homemade cheeseburger from your friendly neighbor’s BBQ? It was closely followed by chicken wings and pizza, which both had over 51% of the collective votes. Men were much more likely to pick burgers as their top choice, with 62% of them picking this tasty treat as their tailgating go-to. Meanwhile, women were more likely to choose chicken wings – messy queens!

Who are the tailgating cheapskates?

60% of NFL fans would spend less than $200 at a tailgate party, whereas some big spenders would spend over $500! 10% of men would splash that much cash, compared to only 5% of women. Nearly a fifth of 21–24-year-olds (21%) and over a third of over 65s (37%) would spend less than $50 at a tailgate party though – watching their pennies!

Top 10 NFL Tailgating Parties ranked by Rival fans

The Dallas Cowboys fans throw the best tailgate party - according to their rivals!

The Dallas Cowboys were voted as the best tailgate party by rival fans, with 59% of the votes for the Dallas Cowboys coming from female fans. Meanwhile, male fans were more inclined to enjoy the New York Jets tailgate parties.


Breakdown by team

The top ten tailgate parties, as voted for by rival fans, came out as:

1. Dallas Cowboys
2. New York Jets
3. New York Giants
4. Green Bay Packers
5. Kansas City Chiefs
6. Buffalo Bills
7. Houston Texans
8. Atlanta Falcons
9. Chicago Bears
10. San Francisco 49ers

What were the rival fans’ preferences?

  • Atlanta Falcons fans prefer Arizona Cardinals tailgate parties
  • Buffalo Bills fans prefer New York Giants tailgate parties
  • Chicago Bears fans prefer Dallas Cowboys tailgate parties
  • Dallas Cowboys fans prefer Houston Texans tailgate parties
  • Green Bay Packers fans split preference between Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs tailgate parties
  • New York Giants fans prefer New York Jets tailgate parties
  • New York Jets prefer New York Giants tailgate parties
  • Philadelphia Eagles fans prefer Pittsburgh Steelers tailgate parties
  • Pittsburgh Steelers fans prefer Philadelphia Eagles tailgate parties
  • San Francisco 49ers fans split preference between four teams: New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders

Would you agree that your favorite tailgate party destination matches with your fellow fans? Or do you have your own preferences? Maybe now’s the time to check out some new tailgate parties! Check out our blog on the most popular tailgate parties to find your new go-to spot before games. And if you’re interested in more NFL stats, check out our blog for all the insider knowledge on your favorite team.

Survey Methodology

Using 3Gem, we surveyed 1000 NFL fans about their tailgating experiences from opposition tailgate parties they enjoy visiting, how far they would travel to tailgate, how much money they’d typically spend at a tailgate party and their favorite foods to eat at a tailgate party.

Out of the 1000 participants, 493 were male and 507 were female across 44 states in the US. The age range of the participants spanned from 21 to 65+. All 32 NFL teams had participants for their respective franchises.

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