The Dolphins aren’t in town this week. They’re away playing the Bengals. That’s why it’s the perfect time to get a refresher course on the 10 commandments of tailgating at Sun Life Stadium. Be sure to follow each commandment and read them using your best Charlton Heston voice.
1. Thou shalt deck out thy car in support of the Dolphins. Show your support for the Dolphins by decking out your car in team colors and gear. It may help you in traffic. Fellow Dol-fans will honk in support and then you’ll give a celebratory honk back which is much better than Bengals or Rams fans honking at you because you cut them off in traffic.
2. Thou shalt know where you’re parking. Before you arrive to Sun Life Stadium, familiarize youself with the parking grounds. If you bought your ticket in advance, locate your parking space on a map before you begin your drive. Figure out which lot is closest to your seat so you don’t waste time driving in circles. Click here for the Sun Life Stadium parking map.
3. Thou shalt not arrive late to tailgate. Sun Life Stadium opens four hours before game time. It usually takes two hours to get a good tailgating party going, 15 minutes to park and one hour to cook. So do the math and show up three to four hours early.
4. Thou shalt have a Sunpass or money for tolls. When taking the turnpike to get to Sun Life Stadium, you will run into at least one toll so it’s helpful to have a Sunpass. It will automatically deduct the toll money from your online account, save you an additional 25 cents and you won’t have to stop at all. If you don’t own a Sunpass, make sure you have cash to pay for each toll.
5. Thou shalt use thou’s blinker when turning. There’s an old joke that people use their blinkers to signal other drivers to cut them off. That’s sometimes true in Miami but you should still be courteous when driving. Use your blinker and don’t try to cut someone off to get to the stadium more quickly. Remember: you never know who you might end up sitting next to at the game.
6. Thou shalt have cash for parking. Parking costs $25 for the Orange cash lots and $20 for season ticket holders. So when you’re waiting in line to pay, get your money ready. Otherwise you’ll create a longer line behind you and ruin the experience for everyone. Nobody likes that.
7. Thou shalt not ignore the parking attendants. Those people are wearing an orange vest for a reason. Respect them and park where they direct you. Better yet, show up four hours early. Sun Life Stadium allows you to park wherever you want for the first hour of the parking gate opening.
8. Thou shalt not use two parking spaces. This should go without saying, but don’t double park. Park on the grass as directed by the attendant in front of your allotted 8 x 10 tailgating space. It doesn’t matter which car you drive, the parking space is big enough to accommodate your vehicle.
9. Thou shalt not block the fire lane. Right behind your tailgating space is a fire lane. Do not let your tailgating decorations spread beyond your 8 x 10 space and block the fire lane. There are cars coming through there to park and more importantly, emergency vehicles need the fastest route to move throughout the parking lot. So stick to your own space.
10. Thou shalt not speed through the parking lot with your car. Whether you are coming or going, you must remember that there are people, some with kids, present. So do not speed through the parking lot trying to get a better spot or make it home the fastest. It’s dangerous and wrong.
Now that you know the rules, you’re ready to have some tailgating fun!
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Niema Hulin was born in Newark, NJ but raised in Lexington, South Carolina for the bulk of her formative years. In 2002, she moved to Miami after graduating from the University of Florida. Since then, Niema has worked in film, television and commercials as a Production Assistant and Production Coordinator. Some of her films have included Bad Boys II and I Am Number IV. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.