Advice for tailgating in Champions Square

Who dat!! That, my New in NOLA friends, is a phrase you should get used to in New Orleans. It is the rallying cry for Saints fans. Here’s the song to get you in the mood:

One of the best places to hear the cheer – and watch the Saints game – is inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. However, the majority of Saints fans don’t have gameday tickets so we find other options. Your next best bet for home games – free tailgating at Champions Square next to the Superdome. (Here are sports bar suggestions from Eater if you want to go that route)

Champions Square is an event space connected to the Superdome. It’s free to get in, there’s entertainment before the game and the game is shown on a big screen in the square.

Advice for first-time tailgaters from Champions Square spokeswoman Ellen Shacklock:

• Wear your Saints gear. Jerseys and black & gold costumes are encouraged, as are signs.

• Arrive early. The square,  Club XLIV (VIP club with $10 admission and premium food) and The Opening Act (indoor space with TVs and food) open three hours before kickoff. On Sunday (Sept. 21), they open at 9 a.m. for the first home game of the season. See more of the schedule here.

• Buy food and drinks there. No outside food and beverages are allowed. Food is available for sale at Club XLIV and The Opening Act. Food Drunk handles the food inside Club XLIV. Check out its crazy King Cake Burger. Menu items at Club XLIV:

  • Chicken & Waffle Sandwich ($9)
  • Gulf Shrimp & Grit Cake ($9)
  • Saints Burger ($10)
  • LA Crab & Crawfish Mac & Cheese ($10)
  • Drunken Shrimp ($9)
  • Duck Fat Fries ($6)

• Keep your bags small. The security at the Superdome applies to Champions Square. Purses must be small and/or see-through. Read more about the bag policy here.

• Leave your chairs at home. Think of this like a free dance party with free music that leads to watching the game.

• Champions Square is more of an adult-friendly environment. Kids are welcome, but it’s geared toward adults.

• Leave your pets at home.

• You can take a cab, bus or streetcar to the Square and skip parking. There are paid parking garages. The garages are cash only and range from $15 to $75.

• The square stays open during the game and shows the game on a big screen.

• Club XLIV closes at kickoff. It’s $10 to get in and your ticket gets you a free cocktail.

• The Opening Act stays open during the game. Perks – chairs, AC and protection from the elements.

Read the full gameday guide for the Superdome.

The first home game is Sunday, Sept. 21, at noon against the Vikings. See the full schedule here.

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