It’s an understatement to say that Texans like their football. Arguably more than any other part of America, football is a way of life in the Lone Star State. And College Station, a remote outpost in the southeast part of the state, is home to a team that commands statewide devotion: The Texas A&M Aggies.
The Aggies have been playing football since 1894 and currently reside in the NCAA’s hyper-competitive Southeastern Conference (SEC). Since they play in a place that’s a little off the beaten path, tailgating at Texas A&M is a source of intense local pride.
Here are some tips for having a great Aggie game day experience, along with ideas for tailgating service at Texas A&M.
Before Game Day
Aggies 2022 Home Schedule
Here are Texas A&M’s Saturday home games at Kyle Field in 2021:
- Sept. 3 – Sam Houston
- Sept. 10 – Appalachian State
- Sept. 17 – Miami
- Sept. 24 – Arkansas (AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas)
- Oct. 29 – Ole Miss
- Nov. 5 – Florida
- Nov. 19 – UMass
The Aggies’ fan base turns out in droves at Kyle Field, so it’s best to get your tickets as soon as you can in advance. You can do so online at the Aggies’ football ticket site — just click on “Ticket Interest Form” at the bottom.
Travel, Accommodations, and Transportation
Texas A&M is in College Station, TX, just south of its twin city, Bryan. Here are your travel options for getting to and staying in Aggieland.
Traveling to College Station, TX
Driving: Texas State Highway 6 goes through College Station, and Texas State Highway 21 cuts through neighboring city Bryan. Long-distance travelers will take Interstates 10, 35, or 45 to reach the area.
Air Travel: College Station is almost equidistant to two major Texas airports: Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). They’re both about a 90- to 120-minute drive away. Texas A&M also has its own airport, Easterwood, that takes in commercial flights from Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston.
Nearby Hotels and Accommodations
There are five hotels within walking distance of Texas A&M, including two right on campus: Cavalry Court and The George. They’re both pretty swank, so the nearby Hampton Inn, Hilton, and Embassy Suites may be more affordable. Here’s a Google map of all hotels close to Kyle Field.
If you have your own tailgating rig, you’ll probably be better off finding an Airbnb option in College Station or Bryan. Both hotels and residential rentals tend to fill up quickly during game weekends, so make your reservations as soon as you know what your plans are.
Getting to Kyle Field
Texas A&M Transportation Services covers all of the transit options for getting to the university, including local bus routes that serve College Station. There’s also a free game day shuttle that leaves from downtown Bryan, running from 3 hours before kickoff until 1 hour after the game ends.
You can coordinate your transit and parking options for Kyle Field with the Destination Aggieland app, found inside the general Texas A&M mobile app.
How to Tailgate at Texas A&M
All SEC tailgating parties have the potential to be legendary, but tailgating at Texas A&M has some unique and special qualities.
Where to Tailgate at Texas A&M
Tailgating at Texas A&M is well-supported by the university. It offers four different Football Tailgate packages at five of its parking lots, opening at 7 am on game day. They also offer permits specifically for RV parking in four lots close to Kyle Field; all except one have full electrical, water, and sewer hookups. RVs must call in advance to reserve a spot.
Spence Park — aka “Aggie Park” — is right at the heart of the A&M campus, just across the way from Kyle Field. It’s the prime spot for pre-game activity and was recently renovated to make tailgaters feel even more at home. You can’t escape the smell of Texas barbecue in Aggie Park (but you don’t want to anyway!). Lot 65 is more spread-out to allow tailgating with big rigs and tons of people.
Other on-campus options for tailgating at Texas A&M include the Pepsi Fan Zone and Victory Street, right next to Kyle Field.
Tailgating at Texas A&M: Traditions
There are a few traditions at Texas A&M that nobody should miss. One of the more unusual events in college sports is the Midnight Yell. Fans pack Kyle Field on Friday night before game day and are led through a series of chants, screams, and whooping by Aggies players, coaches, and students.
Two hours before kickoff on Saturday, the Aggies’ Spirit Walk happens. Fans line the street near the War Hymn Statue and cheer Aggies players and coaches as they march to the stadium. It gets crowded quickly, so get in line as early as you can.
Texas A&M fans are collectively known as “The 12th Man.” There’s some history — or at least legend — behind the name, as it honors an Aggie fan who was reportedly recruited from the bleachers to stand by if the team lost players to injury. That’s why so many Aggies fans stand up for the entire game. Texas A&M honored the fan, E. King Gill, with his own statue near Kyle Field.
Tailgating at Texas A&M: Rules and Tips
Their tailgating rules regulations should are on their official tailgating rules page.
Some of the past tailgating rules you can safely assume will continue to include:
- No open flames
- Portable generators are allowed, but shouldn’t produce too much noise
- No corporate signage or advertisements
Off-Campus Food and Drinks
If you wander off campus in search of refreshment, you’ll find a few bars and restaurants within walking distance. Here are a few.
Bars Near Kyle Field
The Corner Bar and Rooftop Grill on University Drive is a popular Aggies spot, with a fantastic view and extensive options for game day viewing. The Backyard on Northgate is a fun place known for its fire pits and super-sized beer pong played with basketballs and garbage cans.
O’Bannon’s Taphouse is an Irish-themed pub (they explain they are not a “bar”) with more than 75 beers from across the world. Another one is Mo’s Irish Pub, just a way up University Drive.
Check out Google Maps’ list of bars and pubs near Texas A&M.
Restaurants Near Kyle Field
University Drive has a lot of options for grub during game day weekend. Porters is an upscale chophouse with delicious and varied cuts of steak. The more laidback Hopdoddy’s Burger Bar offers well-sized takes on the classic American hamburger, and the sprawling Razzoo’s Cajun Cafe offers great Louisiana cuisine right by a man-made “water display.”
Check out TripAdvisor’s recommendations for restaurants around Kyle Field.
Texas A&M Gameday Gear
With the new season fast approaching, it’s time to get some new Texas A&M Aggies game day gear to rep at your tailgate.
If you want to rep Texas A&M with your pop-up tent, this is a great option from Rivalry that you can find on Amazon. Linked here. Or if you want to opt for a plain colored tent, and spruce up your tailgate with other Texas A&M items, check out our Best Tailgate Tents: 2022 guide.
These Logo Brand tailgate chairs are great. There are quite a few ‘fancier’ chairs out there, but these are all you need for a tailgate party. For the most part, you’re hardly even sitting. You can find them here.
For the grill master in your group – these are a great way to rep your team all summer! They’d make for a great Father’s Day gift, too. Linked here.
For all things attire, Fanatics: Texas A&M is a great place to start. They have something for every member of the family. Be sure to only buy when they have promotions running, which is quite often!
Fanatics also has a fun Texas A&M: Tailgate & Party section that has cute decorations, car decals, and tailgate games. Outside of cornhole (bags) games, I’d stick to Amazon for your bigger tailgate items like tents, tables, chairs, etc. Or your actual team’s ticket office.
Texas A&M tailgaters pride themselves on their welcoming spirit and friendly hospitality, even to fans of the “enemy.” On any given Saturday, Aggieland is a living, breathing, and screaming testament to the unifying power of football.
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