Bad Weather Survival Guide to Tailgating in Miami

Fend off bad weather at your Dolphins tailgate (Credit, Niema Hulin)

There are a couple of tools that are essential to counteract Miami’s unpredictable weather. As residents know and visitors are soon to find out, you can have a crisp, sunny day without a cloud in the sky and then all of a sudden it’s raining cats and dogs. Then 15 minutes later, it’s clear again and the only trace of rain is the humid smell of asphalt in the air and a wet ground. The year 2012 has already seen the second rainiest season in South Florida history, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and prepare in the event of an unexpected storm. Here are the tools that you’ll need.

Canopy With Side Walls

If you’re a tailgater, then you most certainly have a canopy already. It’s necessary to shield yourself and your food from the South Florida sun but it’s also a good idea to invest in side walls. These little lifesavers shield the open three sides of the canopy leaving one side open so that you can have a view. It’s essential for a rainy day. Miami can get windy and when you combine that with rain, a canopy alone does you no good. For the true Finatics, purchase side walls with a Dolphins logo.


If you’re a football fan anywhere, this goes without saying. Sun Life Stadium does not have a retractable roof like Marlins Park so you have to solve the rain problem the old-fashioned way. Buy a poncho, preferably with a Dolphins logo, to shield yourself from the rain. It won’t keep you toasty but it is large enough to put a jacket under that can provide warmth. Just don’t bring an umbrella because it won’t be allowed into the stadium.

Saran Wrap or Aluminum Foil

If you’re tailgating and it starts to rain, the last thing you want is soggy food. It took too much time to cook and it looks way too good not to eat. So pack some saran wrap or aluminum foil so you can waterproof your food. It’s inexpensive and can be found at any grocery or convenience store in Miami. If you have it, you can use Tupperware as an alternative.


These won’t protect you from the rain but they will ensure that you’re comfortably seated while the rainstorm persists. If you have extra chairs, bring them. Most likely if you have everything else on this list, strangers will run for cover under your tent and you’ll want to be hospitable. Offer them a drink, a plate to eat and a comfortable chair to sit in. They’ll be so happy that they’ll forget they’re rooting for the other team.

Happy tailgating and stay dry!

Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at

Niema Hulin moved to Miami after graduating from the University of Florida. Since then, she has become an avid Dolphins fan. Her work can be found at


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