Princeton University competes in the Ivy League Conference, which is a Division I NCAA conference. The team plays on Powers Field at Princeton University Stadium, which is a 27,000-seat stadium that can be expanded to 30,000 seats. Their mascot, a costumed tiger, is aptly named “The Tiger.”
Other than the University of Rutgers Scarlet Knights, there is perhaps no other college football team with as rich a history as the Princeton University Tigers. The two aforementioned teams duked it out in the first-ever college football game in 1869, and the game played back then is very different from today’s game.
Though the Scarlet Knights won that fateful bout, both teams went on to be powerhouses in the late 19th century and early 20th century. From 1869 to 1950, the Tigers won a record-setting 28 national championships. Since the 50s, the Tigers have taken home the conference championship a dozen times, including in 2018.
Princeton competes in over 30 varsity sports, including golf, water polo, lacrosse, fencing, crew, and squash with many of them also Olympic-related sports. The basketball team is considered to be one of the best teams in the Ivy League Conference having upset several high-ranking teams in the past.
While Princeton’s name will be forever linked to college football’s genesis, their athletic program runs a powerful program across all of its sports. Head to Princeton, New Jersey in your RV for tailgating on game day and camp nearby in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or New York.
Before you pack up that RV and head to the tailgate, you’ll need to purchase tickets to the football game. It’s possible to find tickets priced in the mid-teens, but the average ticket price at Princeton University Stadium is often around $85, though that price can rise or fall depending on that week’s opponent. If you want to cheer on the school but avoid higher prices, consider supporting other Princeton University Tiger sports.
Princeton, New Jersey, where the campus is located, is right in the center of the Garden State, and it is right in between the great cities of New York City and Philadelphia. Trenton, New Jersey’s capital city, is less than a half-hour south of Princeton by car. With the Liberty Bell barely less than an hour to the south and the Statue of Liberty just over an hour to the north, Princeton sits nicely between numerous historical landmarks.
On gamedays, RV parking is possible, but there are a few steps you must take before you can tailgate with your RV. First, if you only want to park your RV, head to Lot 21, which costs typically about $50 to park; guests must park on a paved surface.
The lot opens three hours before kickoff and closes one after the game’s conclusion. If you also want to tailgate with your RV, you need to contact the Department of Transportation and Parking Services, and they will work with you to make arrangements.
Lot 21 is very close to the stadium, about half a mile, so you could walk there before the game starts. Tigers fans can also ride on the free shuttle that the school provides. Greater Mercer TMA routes may help you reach a wider range of the community with its train and bus services throughout the county.
Princeton University parking lots close one hour after the game, and, as a result, overnight RV camping is not allowed on campus lots. However, you can begin parking very early on gamedays, which should give you plenty of time to prepare for your Tigers tailgate. Since you can’t stay at the lot overnight, it’s best to find a campground for the night.
RV campgrounds in Princeton are scarce, but not to worry. There are plenty of options to stay for the night in the surrounding areas. French Creek State Park, at an hour and a half away, may already be on your route from Harrisburg or Hersheypark in Pennsylvania.
The Long Beach RV Resort and Campground offers basic amenities and unique features, including a pool, Wi-Fi, cable, showers, and laundry room. If you plan to make your way to the sights in New York City area, Liberty Harbor RV Park is often a great mid-way spot between points of interest.
As mentioned previously, Tigers Stadium is very close to the parking lot, but there is a shuttle available. If you’re traveling with children, you may want to bring a stroller or similar device. Although some stadiums do not allow strollers inside, Princeton University Stadium does not prohibit them.
To help you cheer for your team, don’t forget to pack black and orange-colored clothing for every Princeton Tiger fan in your crew. Once your school spirit has been sorted, pack according to the weather. Bring loose, comfortable clothing during the summer and when fall when football season first starts. If visiting around December, pack multiple layers with hats and warm gloves.
Once you’ve made RV tailgating arrangements with the proper agencies, pack your tailgating essentials. This one needs no mention, but, still, you can’t forget to bring a grill. Double-check to make sure that all your grilling utensils are also packed. An ice chest, almost as important as a grill, is a necessary item for keeping beverages at peak refreshment levels.
Even though the temperature may not drop to frostbite levels in Princeton, you still want to cover your extremities for an enjoyable game day experience. To prepare for a head cold or an accident, bring a first-aid kit with you and remember to check for expired items, especially if you only use it seasonally. Keep kids safe at your tailgate by helping them see where vehicles are allowed to travel.
What you cook might depend on your budget, the amount of work you want to put in, and how much you like grilling. Sports fans often like to go all out to impress their fellow tailgaters, but you can keep it simple, too. Don’t be afraid to cook what makes your favorites. Consider cooking foods that are easy to eat while standing up, which could also result in less trash and cleanup for all involved.
Princeton isn’t a huge city, like nearby New York City, but you’ll still find a good variety of eateries to satisfy your cravings. Surprisingly, there are several Japanese and sushi restaurants in the area, and you’ll also find Indian, Italian, and Mexican restaurants. Reserve a table near within a mile of Princeton’s campus, or venture into the community and select from a dozen or more eateries.
Princeton University Tigers offer many concessions stands within the stadium in case you’re still hungry after the tailgate. You may also find a tent vendor that sells Princeton apparel and gear in the northeast corner of the plaza. While most of these spots take cards, cash on hand is still helpful in case one of them is not able to do so when you visit.
Unlike many stadiums in college football, Princeton University Stadium allows re-entry. If you happen to leave the stadium mid-game, your hand will be stamped. When you enter the stadium, however, your bag may be searched, so leave all prohibited items behind in your fifth-wheel or Class A. If you’re unsure whether or not something is allowed, it’s probably best to leave it at your campground until after the game.
The hottest month of the year comes in July in New Jersey, with high temperatures, on average, peaking in the mid-80s. After July, the temperatures drop steadily with a low point often in January around 24 degrees. The start of the season, though, is probably the best time to be outdoors for the day in areas like Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, only five miles from campus.
Look for a first-aid room at the northeast plaza inside Princeton University Stadium. For any other emergencies, the school encourages fans to dial 911. The community is no stranger to hospital facilities with the closest one within nine minutes of the stadium if traveling by car. Pharmacy choices are a similar distance from campus with additional options also nearby in Princeton, New Jersey.