Which NFL team throws the best tailgate parties?
From parking to food and drink costs, let’s find out!
A major tradition before any big game, there’s nothing quite like a tailgate party. Pulling up in the parking lot with a trunk full of ice chests and portable BBQs, there’s an atmosphere that’s like no other.
Not only are tailgate parties a great way to get hyped before the game, but they’re also a way to meet fans, make friends, and enjoy some good, old-fashioned socializing.
Put simply: tailgating is basically just as important as the match itself!
But which NFL team is the most popular at tailgating?
We’ve looked at the most popular tailgating fanbases on social media and then analyzed which stadium is best for tailgaters, taking into account several factors, such as the cost of parking, food, and liquor.
The Buffalo Bills have the most popular tailgate parties, according to fans.
With a huge positive sentiment score of 21.4%, it’s the Buffalo Bills tailgate parties that are the most popular on social media, with Highmark Stadium featuring 259,507 posts. Close behind, with 21.1% positive sentiment, almost 170,000 posts are mentioning tailgating Cincinnati Bengal fans.
Making up the top five NFL teams for the overall tailgating experience are the New England Patriots, the New York Giants, and the Minnesota Vikings, all receiving positive sentiment scores of 17.9% and above.
At the other end of the scale, with just 8.4% positive sentiment, the Washington Commanders have the least popular NFL tailgate parties based on online popularity, closely followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, if you compare the teams by the number of social media posts mentioning tailgate parties, then the Los Angeles Chargers have received the least, with the SoFi Stadium tagged in just 56,767 posts.
The Top NFL Stadiums for Tailgating
So, do the most popular teams deliver the best tailgate experience? Well… not exactly. The MetLife Stadium has claimed the top two places, with the New York Jets taking the crown and the New York Giants coming in second place.
With the parking lot opening up five hours before the event, there are lots of opportunities to party, and burger prices at the local Walmart are the cheapest of any stadium, at $9.92, with a six-pack of cans costing $6.99. The only reason the New York Jets makes it into the top position is because its parking costs less, at $27.67, as opposed to $36.60.
In third position is the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Despite ranking a meager 27th in popularity, the Falcons’ nearby Walmart offers cheap food and drink, with hotdogs costing $2.50 and a pack of six soft drinks totaling $4.58.
In fourth and fifth place when it comes to tailgating fun are the Detroit Lions and the Washington Commanders (which were the least popular group on social media!).
As for the Buffalo Bills? While they might have come top on positive sentiment, they rank 23rd for their tailgating, which isn’t so impressive considering they’re one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl next year. Their parking is pretty expensive, at $35, and it opens up four hours before the event, meaning there’s a little less time to celebrate.
The Cincinnati Patriots and New England Patriots have both fared pretty averagely at tailgating, in 8th and 22nd, respectively, whereas the other Super Bowl favorite for 2023, the Kansas City Chiefs, have come in 25th place.
When it comes to the worst tailgate experience, the Los Angeles Chargers, and winners of this year’s Super Bowl, the Los Angeles Rams, have come joint bottom. Both are held at the SoFi stadium, which has the most expensive parking of all the stadiums, at $66.03, and food and drink aren’t so cheap either.
The Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, and Las Vegas Raiders all fell into the bottom five, with the Seahawks not letting their fans have much of a party, as their parking doesn’t open up before the game!
So, now you know where the best tailgate parties are, it’s time to load up your car with burgers and buns and drive on down! Alternatively, if you’re confident your team is going to win, place your football bets with us, or for the latest sports news, head on over to our blog.
To determine the teams with the greatest tailgating parties according to fans, the total number of social posts regarding tailgating per team and the positive online sentiment data was collected, utilizing Linkfluence, a social listening tool that crawls data on mentions across the internet from the past 12 months.
To find the best tailgating parties according to the data, a matrix was used and weighed at an equal factor across all NFL teams looking at nine different factors:
- Hours open before an event – the number of hours the stadium parking is open before the game starts.
- Parking ticket price – the price in USD a parking ticket cost in the 2021 season.
- Charcoal price – the price in USD of a branded 12-pound bag of charcoal at Walmart to use for grilling burgers and hotdogs.
- Burger price – the price in USD of a branded pack of 12 burger patties at Walmart.
- Hotdog price – the price in USD of a branded pack of 14 sausages at Walmart.
- Burger bun price – the price in USD of a branded pack of eight burger buns at Walmart.
- Hotdog bun price – the price in USD of a branded pack of eight hotdog buns at Walmart.
- Soft drink six-pack – the price in USD of a six-pack of 9oz Coca-Cola bottles at Walmart.
- Alcohol six-pack – the price in USD of a six-pack of 12oz Bud Light beers at Walmart.
Product price data were collected from the Walmart website. Stores in close proximity to each stadium were specifically used to get more accurate prices. Some states have alcohol laws, meaning that alcohol cannot be served in Walmart. In these cases, the prices of a six-pack of Bud Light were collected from a liquor retailer instead. These states are Maryland, New Jersey, and Minnesota.
Once the data for each factor was collected, the values were indexed to give a value between 0-1. Price values were indexed from low to high, giving a lower value, a higher indexed value, and a higher value, a lower indexed value. The opening hours were indexed from high to low, giving a higher value, a higher indexed value, and a lower value, a lower indexed value.
The values were then summed to give each stadium/NFL team a score out of nine.
They were then ranked from highest to lowest based on this score, with a higher score giving a higher position.