vs. Cleveland Browns
September 29, 2013
6 - 17 Win
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Capacity: 73,200 seats
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Draft Beer: $8.00
Hot Dog: $4.50
Stadium Parking: $25.00
1085 West 3rd Street
Cleveland, OH 44114
Stadium Review - True Cleveland Browns Tailgating
For Week #4 of the 2013 NFL season, my ambassadorship on behalf of the Tailgating Hall of Fame, resumed in Cleveland, Ohio. I love going to Cleveland. There’s the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Warehouse District that offers a thriving nightlife, and my personal favorite, Ralphie’s house from the Christmas movie classic, “A Christmas Story,” which is located just south of the city. On this particular weekend I was in town to watch a great divisional matchup as the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals were in town to take on the Cleveland Browns.
Cleveland Browns fans are known for their tailgating and the stadium parking situation around First Energy Stadium is really setup to encourage this long-established game day tradition. Whether you’re wandering through the debaucherous Cleveland Municipal Parking Lot (Muni Lot) or any of the parking lots on the waterfront, you’re bound to find several first-class tailgaters putting meat to flame and cooking up some incredible pregame delights out on the blacktop.
My day began at 7:30 am in the Cleveland Port Authority Parking lots located just north of the stadium. Parking is $25.00 and there’s plenty of room to meet up with others in your tailgating party without the restriction of being guided to your spot by parking lot attendants. Some of the other lots around the league make you file in one car after another, which means that you have to coordinate a meeting point before the game and drive in together if you want to tailgate together. Anyway, I linked up with Old Man Jay and the Crew and the Burnt River Browns Backers in the southeast corner of the lot. They were hosting a Toys-for-Tots drive throughout the day along with a couple other small charity events. The food was great (Cincinnati-style Chili in honor of their opponent) and the beer was flowing … and then the Bengal Bomb Squad showed up. Big John and WhoDeyBaby brought Bengal bombs and lots of energy to really round out an already exceptional tailgate. Everyone meshed really well as we spent the morning talking NFL football and celebrating another incredible Sunday game day.
Soon I made my way over to visit my friends at DawgWardens Tailgating. Also located in the Cleveland Port Authority Lot, John Ward and his partners have a great spot right next to the water and a solid following of Cleveland Browns die-hards. With Cincinnati in town, the focus was on our Browns to “shock the world” and bring home an improbable win. This is all following on the heels of grumblings that the Browns Brass have given up on the season after trading franchise running back, Trent Richardson, to Indianapolis. So in order to ensure that their troop would be up to the challenge of full-fledged Browns Backing at First Energy Stadium, Baconfest was invoked. An "Everything Bacon" themed tailgate including Honey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Chicken, Bacon Wrapped Brats & Tater Tots, Bacon Cream Cheese Brownies, Bacon Maple Cupcakes, Bacon Cheesburger Dip, and Atomic Buffalo Turds were served along with a host of other bacon inspired delectables. I closed out my visit with a couple of their signature shots, the Orange and Brown Dawg Bites - a mixture of whipped cream vodka with either orange pop or root beer (Do you guys say "soda" in Cleveland?).
The famed Cleveland Municipal Parking lot, or Muni Lot, was my final destination before game time. This parking lot serves as ground zero for the wild and crazy signature Cleveland Browns tailgating that is as much a part of the gameday experience as actually attending the game. Visitors beware, however, as planning to wear opponents colors while wandering through the Muni Lot is not advised. These fans are rowdy and a lot of fun, but you might not find a very warm welcome as you make your way through tailgates that spill into the aisleways and drives of the parking lot itself. I stopped in on my favorite tailgate in the Muni Lot; they’re known as “The Browns Bunch”. Headed up by Jason Darwish and Daniel Clarke, the Browns Bunch attracts a younger crowd and brings their own brand of innovative tailgating to the Muni Lot. Visitors can expect beer keg bowling and octo-funneling throughout the day, as a live DJ keeps the music going and the party jumpin. If you happen upon these guys, feel free to join the crowd that gathers around on gameday and maybe even try your hand at a couple frames of keg bowling.
Game time crept up on me before I knew it ,so I rushed back to the stadium to make my way through the enhanced security checks to find my seats. We actually did really well with seats this year. I bought my tickets throughTicketCity.com and found myself sitting in row four of section 111 across from the fifteen yard line right next to the field. The game itself lived up to its billing as well. The Cleveland Browns were charged up in front of the home crowd and that defense was relentless in its pursuit of Andy Dalton throughout the day. The Cincinnati offense looked a bit lost at times as the Brian Hoyer-led Browns offense posted 17 points on route to a 17-6 drubbing of their division rivals. I would definitely not call this a team that has decided to pack in the 2013 season. Next up are my Buffalo Bills on Thursday night Football, so we’ll see how both teams measure up in front of a National television audience.
For more information on the city of Cleveland, Ohio check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
NFL: November 14, 2010 - New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns
NFL: December 16, 2007 - Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns
NBA: November 13, 2010 - Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
NBA: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland Cavaliers - General Information
|City of Cleveland Local Information|
Top Tourist Attractions:
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Great Lakes Science Center
Pro Football Hall of Fame (Canton, Ohio)
Polish Kielbasa, Pierogies
Classic Reuben Sandwich
Fresh lake fish
What They're Drinkin':
Great Lakes Dortmunder, Smithwickes
There's great tailgating in all lots around FirstEnergy Stadium, but the die-hards gather in the Cleveland Municipal Parking Lot (Muni Lot)
Pocket Map of Cleveland
RTA Regional Transit Authority Rail Map
Stadium Parking Map
Local Sports Media:
The Columbus Dispatch
Cleveland Plain Dealer
97.1 The Fan
Warehouse District (The Velvet Dog, Spy, Fusion, The Blind Pig)
East 4th Street District (House of Blues, Flannery's Pub, Corner Alley)
Historic Gateway District (Great live entertainment - blues and vintage rock)
The Flats (are dead, everything has closed up in the Flats)
East 4th Street (Harry Buffalo, Flannery's Pub, Lola Bistro, Saigon)
Historic Gateway District (Clevelander Bar & Grill, Local Heroes Bar & Grill)
Warehouse District (Blue Pointe Grille, Cleveland Chophouse, Brasa Grill
Steakhouse, Mallorca, Metro Bar & Kitchen)
Mortens Steak House
Getting to the Stadium:
Take the local rail system called the RTA. Take either the Blue of Green line to the West Third Street Station (W.3 - Browns Stadiums) which lets you off across the street from FirstEnergy Stadium. However, if you're staying in the downtown area, then FirstEnergy Stadium should be within walking distance.
Where To Stay:
Find a Hotel in the downtown area as it keeps you within walking distance of the stadium and the many attractions of the City of Cleveland. I would suggest staying at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center or the Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Centre. The Brighton Hotel Corp & The Keg & Quarter also both boast fabulous reviews.
Compare Prices for Cleveland Browns Football Tickets Here:
Click on the following links for Cleveland Browns ticket availability at each of the top online ticket brokers on the web. Try each link to find the cheapest NFL ticket prices:
|DawgWARDens.com - Coins Out!||Alphas in Cleveland||Annabella with the SuperFans|
|The Famed Muni Lot in Cleveland||Checking Lane Conditions||Browns Bunch Bus|
|Tailgating Hall of Fame Coins||WhoDeyBaby!||First Energy Stadium - Quest for 31|
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have for my journey to
FirstEnergy Stadium, including the following:
- Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
- Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
- Tailgating Traditions
- Your Experiences or Helpful Hints
- If you saw me let me know!
All commentary will be moderated. Your e-mail address will not be published.
|Brian J Sulak from Cleveland||
Hey Man!! Thanks for the
nice comments about Brownie's Place (cottage on wheels). I am 1 (DJ) of
3 owners, appreciate the article & comments. Keep up the great site.
been telling everyone about. Good luck on your travels.
|Gus Angelone from Cleveland||Hey, if you
wanna check out the latest Superfan gaining much popularity as of late,
check out Pumpkinhead and his crew under the route 2 bridge for every
Browns home game, its one block south of the stadium. feel free to check
us out at facebook.com/pumpkinpatchBB