Tailgating by the numbers

Story highlights

18 percent of fans tailgate before games, according to a university study

Tailgaters spend an average of $196 on parties, one survey says

63 percent of those surveyed by Weber said they prefer hamburgers for tailgating

CNN  — 

We super-fans at CNN have compiled some fun facts about the “sport” of tailgating, so you can impress your friends with your intellectual prowess, if not your athletic ability on the field. Everyone’s a winner at tailgating, no matter what the scoreboard says.

18 - Percent of fans who tailgate before games, according to one University of Minnesota study.

17.36 million - Attendance at regular-season NFL games in 2014.

$31.21 - Average cost to park at an NFL stadium (PDF) in 2015.

49 million - Attendance at NCAA football games in 2014.

73.76 million - Attendance at Major League Baseball games in 2015.

$196 - Amount that NFL fans plan to spend for each tailgate party, according to a DirecTV survey in September.

93 - Percent of tailgaters who prepare their food once they get to the event, according to a survey by grill-maker Weber.

40 - Percent of grill owners who told Weber in October that they prefer to bring a full-size grill to their tailgate party, as opposed to 55 percent who use a portable one.

63 - Percent of grill owners who listed burgers as their favorite food for tailgating.

10 - Percent of tailgaters who don’t end up going to the game, according to 2003 research by the University of South Carolina.

1869 - The year some say tailgating began as we know it, at the first American football game, between Princeton and Rutgers. Yale University claims it started the tradition in 1904.

1933 - The first year of the annual meeting between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators at a “neutral site” in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s now nicknamed the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

1957 - The year Coleman introduced the plastic cooler.

44 - Calories burned per hour by a tailgater weighing 195 pounds, the average man’s weight in the U.S.

1,603 - Calories in a meal of a cheeseburger, three handfuls of potato chips, three chocolate chip cookies, baked beans and two beers. All that cheering for your favorite team can really work up an appetite.

82 - Percent of people who have two or more drinks while tailgating, according to 2011 research by the University of Minnesota.

14 - Tailgaters are 14 times more likely to have a blood-alcohol content greater than .08 after games than spectators who don’t tailgate first. (This tidbit comes from a study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.)

3 - Universities where fans can “sail-gate” by boat: the University of Washington (Lake Washington), the University of Tennessee (Tennessee River) and Baylor University (Brazos River).

10 acres - Size of “The Grove,” the grassy area on the Oxford, Mississippi, campus where Ole Miss Rebels fans gather for possibly the most serious tailgating in the country.

$120 - Price of a chandelier for your tent in your team’s colors. So classy, the tailgaters around you will pack up and leave out of shame.

$200,000 - Price of a custom, limited-edition tailgating-party-mobile from University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s Mercedes Benz dealership in Birmingham.

70 - Percent of respondents to a 2015 survey by appliance retailer H.H. Gregg who said they prefer to “homegate” rather than tailgate.