Drake University Tailgating

Haul out your blue and white Drake Bulldog colors and take an RV trip to Drake University, Des Moines. Are you ready for Drake University tailgating?

Event information

Sports-mad fans in their best blue and white supporter’s gear won’t be able to contain themselves when the Drake Bulldogs basketball, football, and soccer seasons kick off at Drake University. Are you ready for a Drake University tailgating experience and competitive sports games like no other?

Once Spike the Mascot and Griff the live bulldog take to the field, and fans start singing The D Song, you know you’re about to have a memorable experience in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa. From the unforgettable tailgating experiences and pep rallies with fun activities, a fan zone, and inflatable games for the kids, to the festive atmosphere of Drake Stadium and Knapp Center, what’s not to love?

At any time of the year, Drake University is a hive of activity, with a full calendar of sports events to keep fans coming back for more.

However, anyone taking an RV road trip to the Polk County City of Des Moines will not be disappointed with what else the area has to offer, too. Visitors can explore the Des Moines Water Works Park, wander through the Blank Park Zoo, and visit many of the state parks in Iowa, too. The city is also home to the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, which will surely nab the pork lover’s attention.

There is no shortage of accommodation near Drake University and other attractions, either. At any time of the year, there’s every reason to begin planning an RV road trip to Iowa.


Both season tickets and single-game tickets are available for sports at Drake University. Pricing can depend on the sport and event facility a fan chooses. General admission ticket pricing has ranged from $6 for youth to $12 for adults in the past, with season tickets up to $60. Drake Bulldog tickets can be purchased online in advance or on the day if not sold out prior.

Explore Drake University Tailgating RV Rentals



With the help of a traffic app like Iowa 511, sports fans who plan on taking an RV road trip to Des Moines will be pleased with the easy-driving roads to get there. I-235 is the most central route through the city, while I-35 and I-80 serve metro area travelers well. The city is also proximate to Omaha and Iowa City, with access from I-80. Upon arriving in Des Moines, Iowa’s capital, RV-goers can navigate their way to Drake University at 2507 University Avenue, running parallel to I-235.

Parking areas

Parking options for visitors to Drake University depend on the sport being played on the campus. Paid and pass parking is available in the Tennis Center Lot, Shivers Lot, and Fine Arts Lot for basketball, while football parking at the university is a bit more generous.

Visitors in tow vehicles can park in Lot 1 and Lot 2 along 24th Street, with Lot 18N used for tailgating before kick-off. RVs are not allowed on campus, so visitors may like to park off-campus in nearby streets or make use of public transportation.

Public Transportation

One of the best forms of public transport in Des Moines, believe it or not, is your feet. The skywalk system is one of the largest of its kind in the United States, with four miles of walkways providing ample opportunities for visitors to get around the city on foot.

However, for those who prefer something a little quicker, buses can meet the mark. A drop-off and pick-up point is positioned near the campus, so check the Des Moines Area Regional Transit schedule to see if times align with those of Drake University tailgating and game kick-off.

For getting around the wider area, such as visiting state parks near Des Moines, visitors may like to rely on their motorhome.

Where to stay


RVs are prohibited on Drake University property even during sports games, so visitors will not be able to camp in them overnight at the campus, either. Fortunately, you won’t need to look too hard to find the top RV parks and campgrounds near Des Moines. During high profile games, such as Drake Bulldogs football, consider booking RV accommodation near Drake University in advance.


Whether you prefer the luxury of an RV campground like Des Moines West KOA, or you’re happy with primitive camping experiences, such as those at Walnut Woods Campground in Walnut Woods State Park, you’re in luck. There are plenty of RV campgrounds near Des Moines to suit every type of traveler’s needs, many within a 30-mile radius of the city center.

Getting around

Upon arriving at Drake University, visitors will find that the best way to get around campus is on foot. Various sports facilities are dotted around the campus, but these are all within a short walking distance of their subsequent parking lots.

For RV travelers who have brought their bicycles to Iowa, Raccoon River Park and Fort Des Moines Park may be suitable for their use once the Drake Bulldogs game is over.

What to pack


It goes without saying that if you’re a sports-mad Drake Bulldogs fan, then you can’t arrive in Des Moines without your favorite blue and white supporter’s gear. Blend in with the crowd by wearing Drake University merchandise.

Anyone who plans on going on a few outdoor adventures while in Des Moines, such as exploring at Badger Creek State Park past Booneville, may like to check the weather forecast to ensure they have enough comfortable layers for the trip.


Drake University encourages all sports fans to dress up in blue and white to support the home team, but they request that upon entering the sports facility, visitors take a less is more approach to keep all fans satisfied and safe.

Alcohol, large bags, chairs, outside food and beverages, umbrellas, and weapons should all be popped back in your motorhome. Any other smaller bags or purses may be searched upon entry to Drake Bulldogs' sports games. Visitors may like to bring cash and payment cards for vendor snacks and drinks.

Health & Safety

With hundreds of people descending upon Drake University for sports games, sports fans need to think about the health and safety of themselves and others. Outside games, such as those at Drake Stadium and Buel Field, may require extra sunscreen and drinking water.

Visitors may also see the need for bug spray, first-aid kits, and toiletries if they plan on getting a bit outdoorsy in places like Big Creek State Park in neighboring Polk City.

Where to eat


It’s exciting enough that you get to attend Drake Bulldogs sports games and tailgating events while exploring a new setting, but visitors also get to cook somewhere new. Every Des Moines RV campground has different rules, but most will allow the use of onboard RV kitchen appliances.

Some of the best RV campgrounds in Des Moines may even boast communal cooking areas and fire pits for traditional campfire cuisine. Anyone who needs to pick up a few extra supplies can do so within a ten-mile drive of the university.


Cafes, diners, food shacks, and takeout joints are all within a short five-mile driving distance of Drake University, which means no sports fan will go hungry before or after a Drake Bulldogs game. Many of these eateries offer dine-in and takeaway options, so why not pick something up and sit at a local park like Birdland Park? Atmosphere and local food, what could be better?


As outside food and beverages are not allowed at Drake University sports facilities, you can rest assured there is plenty of food for sale on site. Take cash and payment cards to broaden your choice options, and indulge in treats and snacks sold by campus workers and students during each game.



Security procedures can differ from one Drake University sports facility to the next, but a blanket rule applies that security officials at all entrances may request to check bags and purses before entry. The less a fan brings to a game, the faster they can get through security.

Anyone with concerns or queries may approach a sports official at any time. Otherwise, the nearest police station is Des Moines Police Station within four miles of the university campus.


Des Moines has a humid continental climate, which means that winter is cold and snowy, and summer is humid and hot. Sports and tailgating experiences at Drake University occur throughout the year, so align your visit with the most desirable weather conditions and sports games.

Prepare your RV rental in Des Moines for all weather conditions, too, such as by checking the heating and cooling units, and driving with snow chains if needed.


Anyone in need of medical care while attending a Drake Bulldogs game at Drake University can receive it promptly. Approach a guest services employee or Drake security officer to lead the way to the first-aid area. There usually an ambulance at the northeast track entrance for all games on university grounds. Visitors can also receive medical assistance from the nearest medical center within two miles or dial 911 in an emergency.