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Browns tailgating guide: What to expect on game day

Thinking of tailgating in Cleveland?

Erik Drost on Flickr

Now that we’re over a year removed from the ban on tailgating at Cleveland Browns home games, what can fans expect to see this season? A return to normalcy, as the beginning of the season has shown.

Muni Lot

The most popular tailgating lot in Cleveland is the Muni Lot, located at 1500 S. Marginal Rd, which is east of FirstEnergy Stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Muni Lot opens at 7:00 a.m. ET for most regular season games, and at 5:00 p.m. ET for any evening games. Each parking space costs $25 to occupy. The lot will fill up very quickly, but even if you don’t park there yourself, half the fun is strolling through and soaking in the atmosphere. A list of all other rules regarding the lot can be found here.

Out of all the tailgating lots in Cleveland, the Muni Lot has always been known as being the most wild. Granted, you’re not going to see people lighting tables on fire and crashing through them like Buffalo Bills fans would, but it’s still home to a wide array of buses, campers, and the most rowdy fans the Browns have. Alcohol is not permitted, but you’ll still see plenty of red solo cups around. Generations of fans have experienced the Muni Lot, and although things have changed over time (i.e. camping out overnight is no longer permitted), it’s still a tradition fans of all ages can cherish.

Those of you who have followed me know that I have taken a liking to doing video walk/tours of places in Cleveland or other cities that I visit. I’ve also featured Browns content, including at the Berea headquarters, the NFL Draft, and training camp. One of my missed opportunities this past Sunday was going down to the Muni Lot and taking a video to give out-of-towners a feel for what it’s like — but maybe that’s a project I can tackle for one of the team’s home games this year. If you check out the Cleveland.com photo gallery from this past week’s game, it highlights the merchandise being sold, decked out vehicle designs, corn hole and football throwing, some crazy Chucky-inspired dolls with a Browns and Steelers theme, and more orange and brown than your mind can imagine.

The Pit

For fans less interested in the wild nature of the Muni Lot and craving a gourmet meal, The Pit at 1101 W. Ninth St. is the spot for you. Whether it be hot dogs, burgers, ribs, or frying turkeys come November, there will be something for all Browns fans to chow down on before making the relatively short walk up to the stadium. You’ll still have a festive nature, just to a toned-down degree; and if you’re looking to park your vehicle there, it shouldn’t fill up quite as fast as the Muni Lot.

RTA

Want to enjoy the tailgating atmosphere without having to pay a lot for parking or deal with driving through traffic? Park at any of the RTA lots for free, and ride the Red, Green, or Blue Line to Downtown Cleveland with a $5 all day pass. You’ll have to make the 15-minute walk from Terminal Tower to the Pit (and further if you’re trying the Muni Lot), but it’s an option fans take.

After the Game

After the game, why fight the traffic? Take the Northeast exit out of the stadium and walk toward the seldom-used walkway by the Cleveland Cliffs boat that takes you behind the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. From there, you can walk along the water to get to George Voinovich Park and relax for a bit as you look out on Lake Erie and some beautiful views of the city.