How-To Sell Football Tailgate Space At Premium Prices

sports ticketing

A often overlooked revenue stream are the tailgate spaces at stadium parking lots. Here's how a college can augment its ticket revenue and sell football tailgate space at premium pricing.


In the world of outdoor music festivals, it is a very common practice to divide up the available camping space into tiered prices. The most common factors that dictates prices are distance and amenities. You may be surprised to learn just how much people are willing to pay for camping space that is close to the entrance gate and has upscale amenities. Price can start at $25 and go well north of $500. The industry slang term for the high-end campground space is "glamping" - a contraction of the words "glamorous" and "camping."

An earlier post described one such music festival's glamours camping business model:

Fans [could choose]  from basic tent campsites at $148; premium tent sites, closer to the entrance and allowing check-in the day before the show starts, for $198. The “glamping,” or glamorous camping, option cost $1,498 and provided concertgoers with air-cooled safari tents with all the amenities of a luxury hotel.

The “glamping”, premium access closest to the festival grounds being sold for a higher price is genius. Last minute additions to camping sites, after the event is nearly sold-out are a way to increase patron affinity.

If you are tasked with selling tickets to a sporting event that takes place at a stadium, such as college or high school football, you should consider the way in which music festivals monetize the camping spaces. Football tailgating in the parking lot can become an additional revenue stream just like music festival campgrounds - including lucrative "glamping" spaces.

How-To Sell Football Tailgate Space

In theory, a sports stadium can treat the tailgating spaces that are closest to the entrances as "premium", leaving the farther away spaces available on a first-come-first-served basis. Parking may already be a revenue stream for the stadium, but since tailgating is actually part of the overall event experience, it is logical to give up some parking spaces for more profitable tailgating spaces.

More inspiration can be borrowed from another event industry - trade shows. Trade shows take the concept of monetizing space to its ultimate end and rely heavily on display vendors paying a premium for the best placement on the convention center floor. Trade shows make the purchasing of floor space part of the vendor registration process, with some presenting an interactive chart that is color coded by price. The trade show vendor will pay more for floor space that is situated in high traffic areas like entrances.

The same factors used by music festivals and trade shows to justify premium prices can be applied to your sporting event tailgating.

ThunderTix Sports Ticketing Software

Making tailgate space an additional revenue stream is just part of how ThunderTix can help your team. Our sports ticketing software can not only present a chart of the parking lot for tailgate space selection and purchase, it also manages all tickets sales at stadium box office and online. Plus when you use ThunderTix, fans at the window will get their tickets faster with our integration for credit card swipes and thermal ticket printing. Bonus! - The faster you get people through the gate the more time they have to spend at your concession stands :D