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The Rise of Sterngating

Did you know that the best tailgating events don't have to be on land? You do now! Besides baseball, tailgating may be the new great American pastime. Although there may be a few things more enjoyable than gathering up your crew, setting up shop in your favorite team’s parking lot, cracking open the cooler, and firing up the grill—did you know that a parking lot is not the only place you can tailgate? It’s called sterngating, and it will change the way you pre-game. Here are some of the best places in America to do it.

  • Boats in the water

    Oracle Park | San Francisco Giants, MLB | McCovey Cove, San Francisco, CA

    Perhaps one of the most iconic places to take your boat to the game is McCovey Cove. The cove is a small patch of San Francisco Bay just off the stadium’s right field wall. Named after former Giants first baseman and crowd favorite Willie McCovey, the cove is famous for “Splash Hits”—home run blasts that travel so far, they land in the water. The home runs often cause pandemonium as boaters dive into the frigid waters of the bay to get a souvenir baseball. So far, more than 100 Splash Hits have been recorded, 35 of which came off the bat of, you guessed it, the home-run king Barry Bonds.
  • Citi Field | New York Mets, MLB | World's Fair Marina, Queens, NY

    The Big Apple offers its version of sterngating at the World’s Fair Marina near Citi Field. The marina is just a hop, skip, and jump away from the home of the Mets. It’s also an excellent spot to dock before the U.S. Open, as Arthur Ashe Stadium is nearby as well. Just remember to book your slip well in advance since the marina gets pretty busy. Do you need some grilling advice on your boat before the big game? Check out Everything You Need for Grilling Aboard and find all you need!
  • Boats in the Marina

    Nationals Park | Washington Nationals, MLB | The Warf Marina, Washington D.C.

    The Potomac River is diverse yet beautiful in many sections, particularly along parts of the D.C. waterfront. One of the best places for boating here is just off of Nationals Park, where you can enjoy one of the many slips at The Warf Marina, which is a short water taxi ride to the stadium.
  • Acrisure Stadium | Pittsburg Steelers, NFL | Lock Wall Marina, Pittsburg, PA

    Steelers fans are some of the biggest enthusiasts in the NFL, so it’s not a surprise many of the prime spots along the wharf near the stadium fill up days before the games. If you can secure a slip at the marina, you might want to try one of the city’s famous Primanti Bros. sandwiches. Good luck finishing it yourself—just one sandwich may be big enough for the entire crew!

  • Jacksonville Stadium

    TIAA Bank Field (Soon-to-be EverBank Stadium) | Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL | Metropolitan Park Marina, Jacksonville, FL

    The St. Johns River is a place rife with mystery, but one thing you can be sure of is having a good time if you dock at the Metropolitan Park Marina for a Jaguars game. With warm weather and boisterous fans, the place is perfect for a sterngating session. Even better, you can dock here for the annual Florida-Georgia SEC matchup, a.k.a. the "World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party." Speaking of cocktail parties, MarineMax has plenty of Docktail parties too! Find one near you, or something else as fun on our Events page.  

  • Soldier Field | Chicago Bears, NFL | Burnham Harbor, Chicago, IL

    Chicago is home to one of the more picturesque settings in all of sterngating. Dock your boat in Burnham Harbor on Lake Michigan to take in The Windy City’s incredible skyline while gearing up to watch the "Monsters of the Midway." Of course, Chicago can get cold. Very cold. So sterngating is essentially limited to the first half of the season. And even then, you’ll probably want to wear something warm or stay inside a nice cabin cruiser with the heat on as long as possible.
  • Boats in the Marina

    Husky Stadium | Washington Huskies, NCAA Football | Lake Washington, Seattle, WA

    For some distinct Pacific Northwest flavor, hop on a boat in Seattle’s Lake Washington and cruise to Husky Stadium, where the University of Washington football team takes on their rivals. Boats can moor in the lake in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains, and a shuttle service runs revelers back and forth from the vessels to land. Single-game and season-long moorings are available. So, figure out how much football you want to watch and hop aboard!
  • McLane Stadium | Baylor Bears, NCAA Football | Baylor Basin, Waco TX

    Since 1845, Baylor University has been in commission, and throughout the years, its football team has made headlines. And what better way to prepare for the on-field fireworks than by pre-gaming on a boat? There are also local attractions nearby. If you would rather stay onboard to watch a game versus heading into a stadium, plenty of premium models are available with great entertainment options and speakers. Search for the latest boats at MarineMax and have one of the most comfortable seats in the house. 
  • Fenway Park Boston

    Fenway Park | Boston Red Sox, MLB | Charles River/Boston Harbor, Boston MA

    This iconic ballpark has been around since 1912 and is home to the Boston Red Sox. Considering it’s in the middle of a bustling city with so much history and plenty to do, there are many places to secure a boat and head to the stadium for a game—one being MarineMax Boston. So, grab one of those famous lobster rolls, and have a “wicked good time” on your boat before settling in the park for the first inning.  
  • Neyland Stadium | Tennessee Volunteers, NCAA Football | Volunteer Landing Marina, Knoxville, TN

    If you’re looking for passion and dedication, there’s simply no comparing the fans of SEC football. Get on a boat and head up the Tennessee River to Neyland Stadium. Enjoy some good old-fashioned Southern home cooking and maybe some suds before joining the Vol Navy, as the fans by boat are known, in a rousing rendition of “Rocky Top.” It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
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