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Tailgating, UCLA Style: Getting in the Door

You’ve parked in the ideal spot, watched some football and stuffed yourself silly. Now it’s time to actually watch the game.

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Oregon v UCLA Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

In ten days you’ll be pulling up to the Rose Bowl for game one of the Chip Kelly era.


Are you ready?!?!?!?!?!?

I know I am. I really want to see what Coach Kelly has done with the team and if his new methods will show any progress thus far.

But I can’t do that unless I can get myself through the gate.

First of all, don’t forget to buy your tickets, and also, do yourself a favor and buy parking ahead of time. You save $5 by purchasing it online, emphasis on ahead of time—you can’t buy it Saturday morning, so while you’re sitting at work during the week daydreaming about your tailgate, pull out your wallet and get your parking pass. Otherwise, you’ll be paying full price on game day.

Now, let’s talk about stadium rules. I’ve gotten all of my information from the Rose Bowl Stadium Rules and Prohibited Items page on their website (which also includes their official tailgating rules if you’d like to take a gander at those), so hopefully the staff will be on the same page come September 1 (I’ll explain why later).

First of all, don’t forget about the clear bag policy. You can bring a big ol’ bag if you want, but you’ll miss kickoff waiting in line and paying $10 to check it. The official bag policy is as follows:

  • 12” x 6” x 12” Clear Plastic Bag
  • 1 Gallon Plastic Freezer Bag
  • Clutch with Shoulder Strap (clutch may not be larger than 4.5” X 6.5”)
  • Clutch with Wrist Strap (clutch may not be larger than 4.5” X 6.5”)
  • Diaper Bag, as long as accompanied by a child

You may not bring:

  • Backpacks
  • Camera Case
  • Mesh Bag
  • Purse
  • Clear Backpack
  • Tinted Plastic Bag
  • Oversized Tote Bag
  • Printed Pattern Plastic Bag
  • Fanny Pack
  • Binoculars Case

I’m not sad about the fanny pack rule. That’s not a good look for anyone.

Please take these rules seriously because if you don’t, you’ll just hold up the line and make the rest of us mad. When they say clear, they mean clear. When they say 12 X 12, they mean 12 X 12. And don’t forget your kid if you intend on bringing in a diaper bag because if the kid isn’t there the bag doesn’t go in.

If you need a visual, here you go:

Rose Bowl approved bags.

Now, bags aren’t the only issue. My big problem last year was the stadium seat issue. They were still working on this new policy at the time, but here’s what I meant when I said I hope all staff is on the same page—we have those metal framed stadium seats, and some staff let them in and some didn’t. At the Bruin Viewin’ event in July, we weren’t allowed to bring them in, but we were told it was because they’d dent the grass. They aren’t on the list of prohibited items, but they’re on the picture for the bags, so I thought I’d call and get a definitive answer.

The very nice gal on the phone told me you could bring them in as long as they didn’t have metal. So here’s an example of an acceptable stadium seat. It’s all canvas, and folds up pretty flat. Gone are the days of the metal framed models with the chair-like padding. You can also bring a foam padded bleacher cushion if you’re not concerned about having something to lean back on. Either way, just leave the metal framed ones at home. Both of these guys are available on Amazon and have over 100 reviews with four star ratings.

There is a whole list of additional items that are prohibited. They include:

  • Animals
  • Bags that violate the Bag Policy (See Bag Policy)
  • Balls, toys or sports equipment
  • Banners, signs, flags, poles or sticks
  • Beverage containers larger than 17 oz. (Factory sealed plastic bottles of water, 17 oz. or less, are allowed; limit 2 per person)
  • Boxes or wrapped packages
  • Cans, glass bottles or alcoholic beverages
  • Coolers
  • Drones
  • Glass, metal or hard plastic containers
  • Helium balloons
  • Laser pointers
  • Noisemakers including thunder sticks, musical instruments, whistles, air horns and boom boxes
  • Outside Food
  • Skates, skateboards, hoverboards, scooters or bicycles
  • Umbrellas
  • Unauthorized cameras with lenses longer than 3.5 inches, interchangeable or telephoto lenses
  • Unauthorized video cameras, monopods, tripods or selfie sticks
  • Weapons or projectiles

For those of you with kids, strollers are allowed but you have to check them in. You can’t keep them in the aisle or under your seat. Strollers may be checked in at the Guest Services location at tunnel 18 or at the Checked Items Tent located at Gate C.

If you can handle this, you’re in! But please be sure to stay in and don’t get yourself thrown out. Here are a few things that can get you tossed from the facility:

  • Profanity or other offensive language, whether spoken or appearing on apparel
  • Smoking (The Rose Bowl is a non-smoking facility)
  • Intoxication or excessive alcohol consumption
  • Bringing prohibited items into the venue
  • Throwing of items or liquids
  • Entering the playing field or court at any time
  • Fighting or other threatening behavior
  • Failure to retain ticket and/or present it to event staff if requested to do so
  • Resale of tickets at the venue
  • Violation of state or local laws

Now, what can you do if you encounter someone who is engaged is these or other disruptive behaviors? Just send a text to Rose Bowl Support at (626) 400-5119.

Above all, remember that UCLA football is largely a family atmosphere. If you wouldn’t do it in front of your grandmother, please don’t do it at the game. You know grandma will find out anyway. She always does.

Well, there’s one thing you should do that you might not do in front of your grandmother: STAND UP AND MAKE SOME NOISE! Don’t be one of those sticks in the mud who refuses to stand up at important times. Get up when the Bruin defense has the opponent on a third or fourth down, for Pete’s sake! The only thing worse than not standing up and making some noise is asking other people are standing up to sit down. If you don’t want to stand up and cheer loudly, you might as well watch the game from home so that someone else can sit where you were going to and actually have an impact on the game as a fan.

We’ve seen a lot of Bruin “traditions” come to an end over the past decade. The team is not going “over the wall” any longer. Alumni cheerleader Geoff Strand retired. Now is the time to retire the tradition of Bruin fans sitting on their hands during games. It’s football, not golf. Get loud, for heaven’s sake! The players are out their giving their all for the Four Letters. You should too.

Until game day, this is my last tailgating post of the summer. I sincerely enjoyed writing them for you and I hope you enjoyed reading (and for one of our readers, I’ll do my best to recap what I see game one the week after we play).

Go Bruins!