A (Small) Glimpse of Tailgating Around the MLS
I moved to St. Louis in the summer of 2013. Admittedly, I was a Portland Timbers season ticket holder and member of the Timbers Army at the time. In PDX, tailgating before games didn't happen due to parking, but there were many local pubs that were prime locations for pre-match libations. (My favorite spot was Goose Hollow Inn.)
As a fan, I have traveled to Sporting KC on several occasions in support of an opposing team. On each occasion, the opposing Supporters Group has been invited to meet, greet, and drink beer with members of "The Cauldron" at Children's Mercy Park. And on each occasion, a team representative has met us at the tailgate to lead us into the stadium to our Away Team Supporters Section. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and appreciative of the hospitality. (BTW...This would never happen in Seattle!)
On the other hand, I have traveled to FC Cincinnati to cheer on an opposing team. There was no tailgate. There was no sign of a Supporters Group. Just a few dudes smashing beer bottles and eating watered-down chili on spaghetti in a local parking garage. At the time, I wasn't expecting much more from a team playing in a college football stadium that was not close to the center of the city.
But the good news is that based on the recent USL days in St. Louis, the Louligans have been a prime example of how to do things right. From their Tailgate Crew and beer trailer to the merch tent and charity de jour fundraising efforts, I predict that the pregame experience will be first-class when CITY SC hits the pitch in 2023.
As for pregame gatherings around the MLS, there are examples of Supporters Groups that are promoting a positive tailgating experience for fans. Here are just a few examples with links to learn more.
Resurgence -- Supporters Group of Atlanta United FC -- https://resurgenceatl.com/tailgates/
KC Cauldron -- Supporters Group of Sporting KC -- https://www.kccauldron.com/about-kc-cauldron/newbie-guide/
The Roadies -- Supporters Group of Nashville SC --
Written by Andy Croley. Andy is the primary contributor for the City SC Report Tailgating page. He is also the creator of Bones & Brews BBQ YouTube Channel. Check it out for some amazing tailgating recipes. www.youtube.com/c/bonesbrewsbbq