Tailgating at UCLA games is a unique experience since games are held at the nation’s most famous college football stadium – The Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl was constructed in 1922 and has been the home of the UCLA Bruins since 1982. The Rose Bowl is in Pasadena, some 30 miles away from UCLA’s actual campus in Westwood. So if you’re hoping to check out the campus at some point, be sure to keep this in mind! I’d encourage you to do this on a different day than game day.
The Rose Bowl is situated in a ravine surrounded by hills and mountains which makes for a lovely view from the golf course and stadium. On the flip side, this location creates significant traffic issues. There are only a few ways in and out of the stadium and most are small residential streets. This is even more reason to get to the Rose Bowl early, set up a great tailgate, and enjoy the comradery of your fellow football fans!
If you’re planning to attend a game at this Rose Bowl this fall, this Tailgater Guide should have everything you need for a successful game day experience! If you’re interested in some support, be sure to check out our UCLA Tailgate Package options to have a hassle-free option of tailgating at UCLA!
Purchase Your Tickets Ahead of Time
Quick note – if you are an away fan, and want the best seats possible, we suggest reaching out to the UCLA ticket office or finding them via a 3rd party site. However, if you want to sit with your fellow team’s fans, be sure to go through your own ticket office for your tickets! UCLA ‘sells’ a section of the stadium to your team, which allows for the fans to have their own section. However, typically this section is the worst in the stadium.
If you’re planning to attend the LSU game, we suggest locking your tickets in ASAP – it’s going to be a big game at the Rose Bowl! You can’t beat September in Los Angeles. If you’re coming for this game, I’d definitely encourage you to turn it into a longer 3+ day weekend if you can. Also, side note, found this awesome collapsable cooler if you’re an LSU fan that would be great to carry around beverages in if you’re coming out for this game. Linked here!
Getting to the Rose Bowl
Given the location of the Rose Bowl, your options to get to the stadium are a bit limited when compared to other football stadiums. So it’s best to think through how you’re going to get there ahead of time (i.e. you may need to book a rental car at the airport if you decide you want to drive or reserve your party bus a few weeks ahead of time).
Your options include:
Drive & Park at the Golf Course
- Parking opens six hours before kick-off and is first-come, first-served on the Brookside Golf Course which surrounds the north side of the Rose Bowl. Prices average $40 per car day of or you can pre-purchase parking at ParkJockey.com so you don’t have to worry about having cash on game day and you’ll even save a few bucks!
- There is also parking south of the stadium near the ball diamonds but most of the tailgating action is up on the golf course.
- If you’re interested in tailgating, we’d suggest targeting Lot 7 – it’s the first lot open to general parking for UCLA games and is FULL of die-hard tailgating fans. It’s the BEST tailgate atmosphere at the Rose Bowl in our opinion. It also has lots of large trees around for shade, but plenty of open areas for throwing around a football. If you want to target this lot, be sure to enter the Rose Bowl along Linda Vista.
- Another fun tailgate location, especially if you’re a Bruin, is Lot H. This is located on the South East side of the stadium near the Fan Zone. You can get into this lot with the general parking pass from Park Jockey. However, this is typically one of the first lots to fill each game day. If you’re interested in tailgating here, I’d recommend getting there even before the lots open 6 hours before kick-off. This lot is typically filled with a lot of football and band parents so they can watch their kids enter the stadium!
If you want to ‘drive’ by renting a limo, RV, etc., and having a driver take your party to and from the stadium, be sure to purchase ‘Bus & RV parking’, which you can also find on Park Jockey linked above. If you go this route, you’ll either have to utilize our service for your tailgating needs or be prepared to find an open area to set up your tailgate. The bus & RV lot isn’t an ideal tailgate spot and is on dusty dirt.
For more information on parking at the Rose Bowl, check out UCLA Parking Central. There’s also information on this site regarding season passes for UCLA Season Ticket Holders or Wooden Athletic Fund Donors.
Ride-Share/Metro & Take the Shuttles
The Rose Bowl does offer a shuttle service from Parsons Corp. located at 100 W. Walnut Street. Fans can ride-share or take the metro to Parsons and then take the shuttle down to the stadium. Taking the shuttle makes it very difficult to bring tailgate gea. Hopefully, you have a buddy with a tailgate you can join! We’ve personally never done the shuttle, or hear of too many people utilizing it. So we can’t comment too much on how easy this route is!
Ride-Share and Drop-off at the Rose Bowl
If you want to use ride-share options (i.e. Lyft, Uber, etc.) and get dropped off at the actual Rose Bowl, you can, just be prepared to have some delays if you head that way closer to game time. Do note, that the Rose Bowl has one set drop-off and pick-up location right near the Fan Fest area in the above map. If you’re planning to meet friends out on the golf course, be prepared to walk for ~10-20 minutes depending on which lot they pulled into. Also, after the game, be prepared for it to take a while to get a ride-share on the way out.
More game day information (i.e. stadium policies, ADA parking, etc.) can be found on the UCLA tailgating Game Day Guide.
Tailgating on the Golf Course
Fans can set up one 10’x10’ tent behind their car. If you have a bigger group you might want to caravan in with multiple cars, so you can set-up multiple tents and have enough space for all your guests.
No outside caterers are allowed on the golf course so make sure to plan to bring your own food or give yourself enough time to pick up a catering order before driving into the Rose Bowl. If you want to grab groceries and cook on-site, charcoal and propane grills are allowed. However, the grills must be raised off the ground.
Given the tough traffic mentioned earlier, make sure to pack up your leftovers and save them for a post-game snack. We’d recommend hanging out in the parking lot for a bit to let the traffic die down – unless you’re super speedy getting out of the stadium. The lots are officially open for 1.5 hours after the game and then security will start making rounds and ask you to head out.
For more detailed information on Rose Bowl Rules & Regulations, check out the Rose Bowl Code of Conduct.
Hosting your own Tailgate!
If you’re planning to host your own tailgate – great! Be sure to check out some of our other blogs that can help you plan a great event:
Tailgater Concierge Service for UCLA Games
If you’re traveling in from out of town, bringing a large group to a game, or just don’t want to deal with the hassles of tailgating, check out our UCLA Tailgate Packages! We handle the space, set-up, take-down of all your needed equipment – from the standard 10’x10’ tents, tables, chairs to coolers w/ ice, media packages, corn hole games, and more! Our team at Tailgater Concierge will also help coordinate all your catering, beverage, and bartending needs. You’ll have a full concierge team on-site ensuring you have a flawless game day experience. Reach out to our team today at 888-301-2190 or [email protected] if interested!
UCLA Tailgate Gear
These UCLA Tailgate Chairs are a great way to rep your team on game day and are only $25.
One of the benefits of being in Southern California is the beautiful sunny, blue skies. But early in the season, it can definitely get toasty out on the golf course. This UCLA golf umbrella would make a great addition to your tailgate gear to keep cool if you didn’t get lucky and get parked near a tree!
If you’re in need of some new game day attire, I’d suggest checking out Fanatics. They have SO many options for every NCAA and NFL team out there. Here’s a great UCLA Crewneck that’s only $40.
If most of your tailgate equipment is neutral, but you want a way to rep your team. Team flags are a great way to go. We love this one with the bear! All you need is your flag and some zip ties and you can tie it onto your tent.
If you’re in need of upgrading some of your basic equipment, be sure to check out the following blogs:
*There is VERY limited food and beverage for purchase outside the Rose Bowl on UCLA game days. If you want to get there a bit early to beat traffic, but don’t have a set tailgate, bring snacks! There’s plenty of options in the stadium, so that’s totally fine. But if you want to explore the grounds before heading in, be aware that there isn’t a lot of easy food options.
*UCLA Stadium has adopted the Clear Bag Policy. Find more information on what is or is not permitted in the stadium in the UCLA game day guide.
If you have any questions regarding tailgating at the Rose Bowl, reach out to the team at Tailgater Concierge via [email protected] or 888-301-2190!
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