Baton Rouge is where college football and cajun food intersect, and it’s one of the best places to see a college game. Louisiana State University (LSU) is a consistently-ranked team, whose passionate fans yell “Geaux Tigers” (pronounced "Go Tigers") at every opportunity. LSU’s mascot, Mike the Tiger, is an actual tiger that lives in an enclosed habitat across the street from Tiger Stadium. There is also a costumed version of Mike the Tiger, albeit one that doesn’t bite.
Clad in purple and gold, Tiger Stadium is a massive venue, and its sheer size is a testament to football’s importance in the deep south. The stadium, also known as Death Valley, seats just over 102,000 fans, which makes it the 6th largest stadium in the world. Its magnitude dwarfs NFL stadiums, but the party starts before the game, and the tailgating is just as important as the game being played.
Tailgating is its own sport here, so be prepared to eat as much as you can because people in Louisiana are generous. If you want to host your RV tailgate, you’re in luck because LSU allows RV tailgating. If not, head to the tailgate and go on a sampling spree, and then watch the Tigers alongside 100,000 fans.
The best way to secure your seat for an LSU Tiger football game is to buy a season pass since the stadium tends to sell out for big games. However, a season pass might not be worth it if you’re only going to one game. Single tickets have often ranged from $25 to $300 for high-profile games. Tickets for the basketball and baseball games are more affordable, and they’re more available. You’ll also need to buy a parking ticket if you plan on tailgating in the RV lot.
Baton Rouge is in Lousiana’s southern side, and it’s near to New Orleans, a city known for its excellent cajun food, culture, and vibrant nightlife. Many major highways intersect with Baton Rouge, which should make travel easier for any out-of-towners.
If you want to get a headstart on tailgating, Lot 412 (the single-game RV lot) usually opens on Thursday evenings. Certain streets near to Tiger Stadium are closed on game days.
There are a total of four RV parking lots, but three of those are reserved before the season even starts. The other RV lot, Lot 412, is a single-game parking lot that has spots often costing between $100 to $250. Lot 412 opens Thursday evening before the game. RVers may stay overnight after the game, but you must leave by noon the next day.
The Capital Area Transit System’s (CATS) Touchdown Express provides transportation to and from LSU home games. Tickets are worth $10 per person, but season passes have been purchased for $60 in recent years. The Touchdown Express service has several pickup locations throughout Baton Rouge, and it starts about three hours before kickoff.
If you park at Lot 412, you can stay overnight from Thursday night to Saturday night, but you’ll have to leave by midday Sunday. The lot is great for tailgating, and fans can easily take advantage of the opportunity to dry camp close to the action. Since you may be planning to stay for all three nights, be sure to fill your water and fuel tanks before arrival.
You won’t have to travel far to find a great RV campground in Baton Rouge. LSU fans can find RV campground options as close as the Mississippi River to the west or within 15 miles of Tigers Stadium. The Baton Rouge KOA is under 20 miles away from the city, located on I-12, and it’s one of the best-rated RV campgrounds in the area, with amenities like Wi-Fi, a dog park, pool, cable TV, and more.
Tiger Stadium is a large venue, but you won’t have to walk far for snacks or the restroom once you find your seat. There are multiple concessions, restrooms, and first aid stations throughout the stadium. Purple and gold fans will find elevators and escalators at multiple locations around the stadium.
For a game or tailgate at Tiger Stadium, you’ll want to pack lots of gold and purple LSU gear. Dress comfortably in cool clothes such as shorts and t-shirts, and pack a light jacket for the winter. Even though Baton Rouge is near the Gulf of Mexico, it can drop to 40 degrees as the sun sets.
You’ll want to bring your grill if you plan on tailgating. Don’t forget to pack a table, some chairs, and maybe even a tent. Per LSU’s policy, make sure the tent is no bigger than 10’ by 10’. If you plan on making gumbo or a similar cajun dish, bring a large pot and a big ladle, and bring plenty of disposable bowls to feed your guests. Finally, pack a few trash bags to keep your area nice and clean.
Southern Louisiana can get very humid, so be prepared to sweat through your clothes. In the moist heat, you need to hydrate often, so bring a refillable water bottle and keep it full. Mosquitoes can also be a problem, which is why bug-repellent is a must-have. Finally, pack a travel-sized first-aid kit for any minor medical issues.
There are plenty of places to buy groceries from if you need to stock up. Cooking Cajun food at an LSU tailgate is essential; Tigers fans often enjoy local staples such as gumbo, boudin sausages, po’ boys, and other favorites. There is no shortage of food at these events, so bring your A-game and treat your guests to an awesome Cajun meal.
Fun Fact: When the LSU Tigers play against the University of Florida Gators, tailgaters may grill a whole alligator. Unsurprisingly, it’s said to taste like chicken.
If you’re in Baton Rouge, you may want to visit the amazing local Cajun and seafood restaurants, especially if you only visit once a year. Treat yourself to oysters, whole fried catfish, steak, and Cajun cuisine. If you fancy something else, there are pizza, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, and BBQ restaurants, too. Within five miles of Tigers Stadium, and often under a mile, fans will find plenty to fill their hungry bellies.
Sometimes when you’re packing for a trip, you might forget to pack your favorite piece of gear. Don’t worry, though. There are more than a handful of merchandise locations around Tiger Stadium. If you’re hungry for a tasty snack, Tiger Stadium has plenty of great concessions around the stadium. Concessions do not accept credit cards, so head to one of the ATMs if you’re out of cash.
Fans should be aware of Tiger Stadium’s clear bag policy, which only permits clear bags that are completely see-through. If you’re bringing in items but don’t have a clear plastic bag, you can use a large food-storage bag. Umbrellas are not permitted inside the stadium. If it might rain, bring a poncho instead so fellow fans can see the action as well.
Temperatures are mild year-round in Baton Rouge. The summer months are the rainiest, and, therefore, the most humid. The fall and winter months are cool, and freezing temperatures are rare. During the summer and early fall months, however, Baton Rouge is vulnerable to hurricanes. Stay alert of any forming hurricanes in the gulf and plan accordingly.
Although you might not need any medical attention at the stadium, it’s worth noting that there are multiple first-aid stations, with a first responder at every station. Tiger Stadium also has a trauma center for any serious medical emergency. Additional medical center services are situated within seven miles of the stadium, and pharmacy services are near many of the eateries and may only be about a mile.