The 2021 football season is around the corner and the University of Maryland Terrapins are getting ready to make a statement. The Terps are looking to re-establish themselves as a Big Ten force with an offensive attack that’s fun to watch.
Long-time UMD fans will be right alongside them with the return of tailgating at the University of Maryland. Athletics officials have announced that student sports will be running at 100% capacity in 2021 and that tailgating is being restored to its grand, pre-COVID tradition.
If you’re heading to College Park’s Capital One Field this season, you’ll want to make game weekend festivities part of your experience. Here’s our guide on the logistics, strategies, suggestions, and accommodations for tailgating service at the University of Maryland.
Before Game Day
Terrapins 2021 Home Schedule
Maryland faces these teams at home in 2021. All games are on Saturdays, except where noted:
- Sept. 4th – West Virginia
- Sept. 11th – Howard University
- Sept. 25th – Kent State
- Oct. 1st (Friday) – Iowa
- Oct. 30th – Indiana
- Nov. 6th – Penn State
- Nov. 20th – Michigan
Rivalry Games: West Virginia and Penn State are Maryland’s biggest rivals on the home schedule. Their other Big 10 matchups are Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan.
The University of Maryland online ticket office sells season tickets, mini-pack plans, and single-game seats. Get your tickets as far ahead in advance as you can.
Travel, Accommodations, and Transportation
The University of Maryland is in College Park, a town just a few miles northeast of the District of Columbia. Here’s how to get there and where to stay.
Traveling to College Park
Driving: US Route 1 is the main thoroughfare passing by the University on the east, and Maryland Route 193 runs by it on the west. Drivers from out of town take I-95 or I-495 to get to College Park.
Air Travel: Three major airports are within 30 miles of College Park: Reagan National Airport in D.C. (DCA), Baltimore/Washington International (BWI), and Washington Dulles International (IAD).
Rail: Amtrak stops in New Carrollton Station and Union Station in D.C.
Nearby Hotels and Accommodations
College Park is well-served by several hotels and motels: The Hotel at University of Maryland, Hampton Inn, Cambria, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Best Western Plus, TownePlace Suites, and more. You can also have a look at TripAdvisor’s hotel recommendations.
If you’re hosting your own tailgate, make sure the place you stay can accommodate your equipment. If you need more space, consider reserving a local residential rental with Airbnb. You might also opt to enjoy tailgate equipment rentals instead of bringing your own!
Getting to Maryland Stadium
How to Tailgate at University of Maryland
Tailgating at the University of Maryland is a festive affair, fueled by extreme Terp passion, game-day spirit, and a few consumables. Here are some pointers on how to find and endure UMD pre-game festivities.
Where to Tailgate at University of Maryland
Tailgating is allowed in all parking lots at UMD (but not in parking garages). Season-ticket holders can get parking passes for the whole season for $98. Terrapin Club members have access to the lots closest to Capital One Field.
Overnight RV parking is allowed at Lot 11B. It opens for prepaid customers only on Friday at 6 pm, although you can’t tailgate there until on-site purchases begin on Saturday, 6 hours before game time.
Terp fans suggest Lots 1/Z, 9, and 11 are two of the better areas for tailgating. Insiders recommend getting a pre-paid pass early and finding a patch of grass if you’re setting up your own tailgate.
On-campus, the university’s official tailgate party happens a little south of Capital One Field. Terp Town is free for everyone, opening three hours before game time. The UMD marching band, spirit squad, alumni athletes, and entertainers offer family-friendly activities and music.
There’s also a beer garden, live music, TVs for watching other games, and — as the University makes a point to mention — face painting.
Tailgating at University of Maryland: Rules
There are a few rules for tailgating at the University of Maryland, including:
- Tailgating equipment can’t obstruct roadways or walkways
- No open flames
- Charcoal grills permitted
- No public alcohol consumption after kick-off
- No beer pong or beer bong funnels
Learn all of UMD’s tailgating rules here.
Note also that the University takes pains to distinguish between what constitutes a “tailgate” and a “party.” Tailgating is fine in the parking lots, but if it devolves into a “party,” attendees may be asked to leave. In other words, leave your beer pong equipment at home.
Tailgating at University of Maryland: Traditions
The most common game-day customs at the University of Maryland include these:
Terp Alley Walk
Two-and-a-half hours before every game, Terrapin players and coaches make the hike from their buses at the Stadium Drive traffic circle down to Capital One Field. They’re guided and encouraged by the UMD spirit squad, marching band, and Testudo the mascot, with fans along the route cheering their every step.
Rubbing the Testudo Statue
Legend has it that rubbing the large statue of the diamondback terrapin in front of McKeldin Library before the game will give the Terps good luck. It is highly suggested you rub it on the nose, apparently the central point of the terrapin’s metaphysical powers. Some also leave gifts and offerings to the statue, if you really want to get deep into the ritual.
Athletics Hall of Fame
Reserve some time to check out the University’s museum honoring their long tradition of sports excellence. You’ll find exhibits honoring Terp legends like Boomer Esiason and Randy White.
Off-Campus Drinks and Food
If you wander away from campus or want to skip the parking lot action, College Park has some bars and restaurants for game-day refreshments.
Bars Near Capital One Field
There aren’t a ton of bars in College Park, but there are a few that are likely to be well-attended on game day. Looney’s Pub is a small local sports bar chain about a mile from the stadium on foot. RJ Bentley’s is a former gas station that’s been rebuilt into a bar and restaurant.
Check out your options for bars at least somewhat close to College Park.
Restaurants Near Capital One Field
Most of the better restaurants near the University of Maryland are located on or around Baltimore Ave, east of campus. Taqueria Habanero, College Park Grill, Pho D’Lite, and Japanese restaurant Hanami are all near the north part of campus. Further south, you’ll run into Potomac Pizza, Krazi Kebob, and Ledo Pizza.
Make sure to also take a look at TripAdvisor’s suggestions for food in College Park.
University of Maryland Gameday Gear
With the new season fast approaching, it’s time to get some new Maryland gameday gear to rep at your tailgate.
You can’t go wrong with a game day hat. You can either show off your team between now and kick-off! Linked here.
For the grill master in your group – these are a great way to rep your team all summer! Linked here.
For all things attire Fanatics: the University of Maryland 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 University of Maryland: 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.
If you’re thinking of upgrading some of your basic equipment, be sure to check out the following blogs:
UMD fans have been waiting a long time for the return of football and are eager to see the Terrapins drive toward future success. Tailgating at The University of Maryland will play a huge part in that this year, especially after taking the last season off. Get there early to make the most of game day.
Please note: Tailgater Concierge is a participant in the Amazon and Fanatics Affiliate Programs and may receive commissions on purchases. Tailgater Concierge only recommends products that we find valuable for our tailgating community! Thanks!