After several years of tailgating outside of a 27,000-seat soccer stadium in Carson, California, Chargers fans couldn’t be more ready to shake the dust off and enjoy the luxuries of an actual NFL stadium parking lot.
Following a pandemic-stricken season in 2020 that kept fans away for the true opening season of SoFi Stadium, the anticipation to bask in the architectural marvel that is the team’s new home couldn’t be higher.
One group of fans we know that cannot wait to get out there on game days is the Southern California Die Hard Bolt Club, which collaborates with numerous other Chargers-based groups to host one of the best and most-inclusive tailgates within the fan base.
Known as “Thunder Alley,” it is bound to be one of the places to be on game days before kickoff.
Just looking at a recent flier posted by the group on their official Facebook page, readers are greeted with this call to action:
“Come and join in the fun at the ultimate tailgate experience!”
Those who choose to partake in such an experience must pay a reasonable fee to one of the organizers — someone affectionally known as “Raiderhater2185” — via Paypal or Venmo before they’re able to treat themselves to the unlimited food and beer on hand. Add a local DJ to round out the ambience and you’ve got yourself one heck of a party to attend on Sundays.
If a giant tailgating area isn’t your personal flavor for game days, there will certainly be a number of more intimate settings in the area as well.
If you happen to come across this amazing custom grill ahead of game time, you may have just stumbled upon the tailgate of current Bolts From the Blue community member, MongoTesla. This phenomenal piece of cooking technology, fully-decked out in Chargers colors and adorned with the numbers of legendary players such as the late Junior Seau and LaDainian Tomlinson, is dubbed the “Bolt-B-Que.” On a normal Sunday, you can find it filled to the brim with burgers, dogs, and other local favorites such as bacon-wrapped jalapeños.
Tailgating at SoFi Stadium is unfortunately limited to what’s being known as the Pink Zone, which is a lot directly adjacent to the stadium — but that’s not going to stop the Bolt Family from making the most of their experience.
If you dive into the rules and regulations regarding tailgating via the team site, you may find yourself a bit bummed to read how strict some of them are. According to Chargers.com, once kickoff commences, fans without a ticket will be asked to leave the area entirely. So apparently you’re not allowed to sit outside your truck and watch the game on your sleek 55-inch television you hauled all the way from home. That’s half of what tailgating is. Not everyone goes into the stands to watch the game.
While those may be the rules, good luck trying to tell a mob of inebriated Chargers fans what they can and cannot do while paying exorbitant amounts of money to cheer on their team in style.
Lastly, especially if your tailgating time is going to have a hard end at kickoff, you’ll want to make sure you’re arriving at the stadium to maximize the fun. The parking lots open four hours before the game starts and spots will obviously be limited. Make sure your vehicle and accompanying setup will fit within the 9-foot by 18-foot parking stall and the adjacent 9-foot by 6-foot tailgating section.
If you’ve got all of that checked off, you’re ready to have the time of your life. Don’t forget to cheer on the Bolts while you’re at it.