Cleveland Browns fans are the most long-suffering in the NFL. Nobody’s happier than us that their patience has been rewarded. Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and a brutal defense have turned the Browns into one of the AFC’s elite teams.
Tailgating at FirstEnergy Field will have a comeback of its own in the 2021-22 season. From the reserved lots around the stadiums to the public lots along the waterfront, the Browns’ game-day experience is a spectacle that befits one of the most storied franchises in football.
Here are some tips on finding the best tailgate service at FirstEnergy Field.
Before Game Day
Cleveland Browns 2021-22 Home Schedule
The Browns face these teams at FirstEnergy Stadium this season. All games are on Sundays, except where noted.
- Aug. 22 – New York Giants
- Sept. 19 – Houston
- Sept. 26 – Chicago
- Oct. 17 – Arizona
- Oct. 21 (Thursday) – Denver
- Oct. 31 – Pittsburgh
- Nov. 21 – Detroit
- Dec. 12 – Baltimore
- Dec. 18 or 19 – Las Vegas
- Jan. 9 – Cincinnati
Big Games: Baltimore and Cleveland are the top two contenders for the AFC North crown this season, so the second of their two late-season matchups on Dec. 12 should be a blazing hot ticket. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the Browns’ biggest rivals, even more than the intrastate Cincinnati Bengals.
You can pick up single-game tickets (which are among the most reasonably priced in the NFL) on the Browns’ online ticket office.
You can also get on the season-ticket waiting list, which as of this writing is 10,000 deep — they’re losers no more. Get your tickets early, as FirstEnergy Stadium is expected to be a bit busier than in recent years.
Travel, Accommodations, and Transportation
Cleveland is a classic American city situated near the base of Lake Erie. Here’s information on how to get there and where to stay.
Traveling to Cleveland
Driving: Interstate highways that are lucky enough to go through Cleveland include 71, 77, 80, 90, 480, and 490. I-90 and I-490 are closest to the stadium. US Routes 6 and 20 also connect the stadium with routes that run along Lake Erie.
Air Travel: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) takes in flights from most major cities in the Eastern and Southern United States, as well as a few west of the Rockies. Travelers from a few of the big metropolises — such as Seattle, Portland, and Austin — will need to take at least one connecting flight. The Red Line subway can take you straight from the airport to the stadium.
Rail: The Cleveland Lakefront station is just a few steps from the stadium. It serves two Amtrak lines and RTA Rapid Transit’s Waterfront light rail.
Nearby Hotels and Accommodations
FirstEnergy Stadium is near the heart of downtown Cleveland, so there are many hotel rooms within shouting distance. You’ll find Hilton, Aloft, Marriott, DoubleTree, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Comfort Inn within a few blocks.
If you’re hosting a tailgate at FirstEnergy Stadium, you might want to reserve residential accommodations through Airbnb. You’ll have room for all your equipment, as well as a kitchen for prep.
Getting to FirstEnergy Stadium
RTA Rapid Transit offers several ways to get to FirstEnergy Stadium by bus and rail. Use their trip planner to schedule your ride. The light rail route stops right at the stadium.
How to Tailgate at FirstEnergy Stadium
Tailgating at FirstEnergy Stadium is more like a giant block party with Dawgs allowed. Here’s your guide to mastering it.
Parking at FirstEnergy Stadium
The parking lots right next to the stadium — the Orange, Red, Yellow, Tan, Purple, and Silver lots — are for pass holders only. None offer cash parking. Take a look at the stadium parking map.
There are a few downtown lots that sell game-day parking for anywhere between $20 and $50 (or $10 if you don’t mind walking). Use ParkWhiz to find parking away from the stadium.
RVs and buses can park at Dock 20, a little bit west of the Orange lot. Campers and limos can get game-day passes for $40; RVs and large buses can get them for $60.
Where to Tailgate at FirstEnergy Stadium
Tailgating is allowed in most of the parking lots at FirstEnergy Stadium and a few city-run lots, as well. Hotspots include:
Municipal Lot C (“The Muny”)
The Municipal Park Lot is where most of the hardcore tailgating happens on game day. It’s been the spot of choice for generations of Browns fans, who have swilled tons of potables and chowed down on mountains of food upon its gravel floor. It’s so popular that you’re advised to get there the night before the game to save your spot.
Located on W. 9th Street a block south of the stadium, The Pit is many Browns fans’ favorite place to tailgate. It’s a long, somewhat narrow strip that teems with cars, grills, food trucks, and something of a laissez-faire attitude. The privately-owned lot allowed limited tailgates in 2020, even as the city restricted them at public lots.
Browns Official Tailgate
The club-sanctioned tailgate occurs near the northern enclosure of FirstEnergy Stadium. It’s a family-friendly event that’s open to all ticket holders.
Tailgating at FirstEnergy Stadium: Tips
Cleveland weather can be somewhat random: Suffocating humidity in September and brutal cold in November and December. Check the weather in the week leading up to the game and dress accordingly.
Wear shoes that are comfortable to walk in. If you tailgate anywhere off stadium grounds, you’ll have something of a hike to the stadium. Leave the cowboy boots and high heels in the closet — wear a pair made for walking.
Nearby Drinks, Food, and Attractions
With its downtown location, FirstEnergy Stadium is convenient to a lot of options for dining, drinking, and entertainment.
Bars Near FirstEnergy Stadium
Downtown Cleveland has bars a-plenty, but the one you should make a point to visit is The Clevelander, This is where Browns fans who can’t make it to the game in person congregate on game day, and it’s usually packed to the gills. It’s the sports fan’s sports bar.
Restaurants Near FirstEnergy Stadium
Cleveland has everything from highbrow cuisine to quick and cheap bites. Some of the top restaurants close to the stadium include:
- Blue Pointe Grill for seafood
- Taza, a Lebanese grill
- Cleveland Chop
- Nuevo Mexican & Tequila Bar
- Butcher & the Brewer
- Mallorca for Spanish cuisine
- Mabel’s BBQ
- Flannery’s Pub
- Camino Taco & Tequila Bar
Click here to see more recommendations from TripAdvisor.
Popular Cleveland Attractions
If you’re coming to the Browns game from out of town and are staying a few days, you’d be remiss if you skipped The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Probably the most famous “Hall of Fame” in the world at the moment, it has exhibits and artifacts from the entire breadth of rock’s 70-year history. It’s also just a few steps from FirstEnergy Stadium.
Also, check out:
- Cleveland Museum of Art
- West Side Market
- Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
- Cleveland Botanical Garden
- The house where A Christmas Story was filmed
You can also check out more of TripAdvisor’s recommendations for things to do in Cleveland.
Cleveland’s a destination NFL city once again, but the fans never left. Even just a few minutes of tailgating at FirstEnergy Field will prove that and a few hours might make you a convert.