College football in Charleston, SC, is more than just a sports event. It’s a culture, a tradition, and a way of life for many fans across the state, and the country as a whole. One of the best ways to experience college football is by tailgating with your friends and family before the game.

Tailgating is a pre-game ritual where fans gather in parking lots, fields, or other designated areas near the stadium to enjoy grilled food, drinks, music, games, and camaraderie. Tailgating is a great opportunity to show your team spirit, meet new people, and have fun.


College Football Seasons for Tailgate Parties in Charleston, SC

Charleston boasts two vibrant college football seasons, perfect for throwing unforgettable tailgate parties:

1. Spring Season (February – April)

2. Fall Season (August – November)

Here are the teams that typically compete during this period:

1. The Citadel Bulldogs

The Citadel Bulldogs of Charleston getting ready for a game.

Charleston’s historic military college boasts a rich football tradition, competing in the Southern Conference (SoCon) of the FCS. The Johnson Hagood Stadium pulsates with energy during game days, making it a prime spot for spirited tailgating. The most popular tailgating spot is the Altman Athletic Center parking lot, which is adjacent to the stadium. Here, you can find tents, grills, coolers, and flags of The Citadel. You can also enjoy live music, games, and giveaways at the Bulldog Walk, which is a pre-game pep rally where the team and the band march through the parking lot.

What to Expect?

Military flair: Expect to see a unique blend of traditional tailgating fare alongside military traditions like marching bands and pre-game ceremonies.

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Tailgating scene: The large green spaces surrounding Johnson Hagood Stadium transform into a sea of tents, grills, and enthusiastic fans. The proximity to the Ashley River adds to the scenic appeal.


2. Charleston Southern University Buccaneers

Representing Charleston on the gridiron, the Buccaneers play in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) of the NCAA. Their home games at Buccaneer Field offer a more intimate and affordable tailgate experience compared to larger universities. The main tailgating spot is the Whitfield Stadium Center parking lot, which is next to the field. Tailgaters set up tents, tables, chairs, and banners of Charleston Southern. You can enjoy food, drinks, music, and games at the Buc Walk, which is a pre-game celebration where the team and the band walk through the parking lot.

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What to Expect?

Rivalries: Mark your calendar for exciting matchups against nearby schools like The Citadel Bulldogs and Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, where the tailgate spirit truly comes alive.

Tailgating scene: While not as expansive as major universities, Charleston Southern tailgating offers a friendly and community-oriented atmosphere. Look for tents, grills, and coolers set up in designated parking areas surrounding the stadium.



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3. College of Charleston Cougars

College Of Charleston Cougars vintage embroidered logo

The College of Charleston is a public liberal arts college that competes in the Colonial Athletic Association of the NCAA Division I. The Cougars play their home games at Patriots Point Stadium, which has a capacity of 3,000 seats. The stadium is located in Mount Pleasant, across the Cooper River from downtown Charleston.

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The College of Charleston does not have a football team, but it does have a basketball, women’s volleyball, and club rugby team that plays in the spring and fall. The Cougars rugby team is a member of the Southern Rugby Conference, and has won several championships and awards. The Cougars rugby team is also known for its rivalry with The Citadel, which is called the Holy City Cup.

The College of Charleston fans are spirited and supportive, and they love to tailgate before the games. The main tailgating spot is the Patriots Point parking lot, which is near the stadium.

If you want to tailgate at the College of Charleston, you do not need to purchase a parking pass, as parking is free and open to the public. You can also join the Cougar Club, which is the official booster club of College of Charleston athletics, and get access to exclusive events and perks.



College football seasons are a great time to enjoy tailgate parties in Charleston, SC. Whether you’re a fan of The Citadel, Charleston Southern, or the College of Charleston, you can find a tailgating spot that suits your preferences and budget. Tailgating is a fun and social way to show your team pride, make new friends, and have a memorable game day experience. So grab your tickets, rent your grill, pack your coolers, and get ready to tailgate in Charleston, SC!


Holy City Grills is a grill rental company in Charleston, South Carolina. We offer services in Charleston, Summerville, Myrtle Beach, and other neighboring cities. Holy City Grill does on-site grill delivery. Our medium-sized and large grills are perfect for your South Carolina outdoor party. Book Now.