I travel to stadiums and arenas all over the place. And I spend a lots of time reviewing the scene inside the facilities. But this is a tailgating website and we like to spend a good amount of time out in the parking lot before, after and sometimes even during the sporting event.
On Fridays, I am going to try and take you around some of my favorite venues, both for sports, as well as the scene outside. And there seems no better starting spot than Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In South Philadelphia, one will find the largest collection of active sports venues located in one spot. The South Philadelphia Sports Complex has an NHL/NBA arena, an NFL stadium and a MLB stadium. Teams that call the area home is quite a list including Phillies, Eagles, 76ers, Flyers, Soul, Temple Owls football, Villanova Wildcats basketball and Soul. So, in a word, it is quite a busy place. If you find a day that one of the Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field or Citizens Bank Park is not being used I would be surprised.
The venues are also surrounded by parking lots. That may mean it is not always the most scenic of places, but it also offers a good amount of places for the average tailgater. Expect to see tailgaters for all sporting events held here, as well for concerts and other events. Something about South Philadelphia calls out for people to bring their grills and accessories.
There are other options in the area if you strangely enough tire of tailgating.
Located closest is the Xfinity Live complex in the same parking lot area. Xfinity Live is like a food court of bars. Food is also good here and offers a decent variety, although not at the cheapest prices. The star attraction here is the 32-foot screen at the NBC Sports Arena. The Victory Beer Hall is also another fine venue, especially for local brews. There is also a year-round bar called McFadden’s located at Citizens Bank Park across the street.
Located just a short bit away is the Chickie’s and Pete’s flagship location on Packard Avenue. This massive sports bar has numerous smaller bars inside, hundreds of screens, video games and some serious food. The Crab Fries also offered in the arena are obviously a star here. Also check out my favorite, the chicken cheesesteak. You can park at Chickie’s and Pete’s for some games and they offer a shuttle bus to the games (“The Taxi Crab”). Just make sure you follow parking rules, as they will be quick to tow you if you don’t
Some of the best cheesesteaks are located at Philip’s Steaks at 2234 West Passyunk Avenue for traditional Philly cheesesteaks. This is not one of the more touristy spots, but is still in a safe neighborhood and offers free parking. Philip’s also has a surprisingly good cheeseburger for a cheesesteak joint. Just remember you have to buy the drinks and fries at a different window than your main entree, which is a strange and unique Philly tradition.
I am also still partial to the somewhat touristy Tony Luke’s Cheesesteaks located on Oregon underneath the I-95 overpass.
Might I suggest tailgate before the game, then wander to Chickie and Pete’s for post game drinks, followed by a cheesesteak at Phillip’s or Tony Luke’s after that.
Will you need a good coma level type of sleep afterwards? Yes, but it will be worth it.