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“Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place for a visiting team. It’s like being inside a drum.”- Paul “Bear” Bryant on playing in Tiger Stadium
In addition to the respectful due given by the “Bear” to Tiger Stadium, the late Bobby Dodd (former Georgia Tech Head Coach) once reverentially stated, “It was like we were in the Coliseum, and we were the Christians.” Whether it’s former players, coaches or media members experiencing “Death Valley” for the first time, they all sing the same awestruck song—this place is unmatched in atmosphere and just flat out f’ing insane.
This Saturday Night asylum was constructed in 1924 with a seating capacity of 12,000 and has grown over the years to now house 93,000 Tiger Faithful, making it Louisiana’s fifth largest city on a Saturday night. And, with $80 mil about to be pumped into Death Valley for expansion, to make the seating capacity a cool 100k, expect this place to become a full-fledged nether world. Hell, in 1988, in front of only 79,000 crazed cajuns, then LSU quarterback, Tommy Hodson, tossed a game winning touchdown pass to beat Auburn 7-6. The fans cheered so loudly, they managed to register on a nearby campus seismograph (that thing they record earthquakes with), effectively dubbing that game as, wait for it, “The Earthquake Game.”
But fear not, the hostility awaiting your team is only surpassed by affability towards you once thought to exist only in the black and white of Pleasantville. Yep, you’re gonna be tigerbaited (a friendly chant that means, well, your tigerbait), and often. However, as you reciprocate their friendly gamesmanship with your own school's cute little pecadilloe chants, just know that your perceived antagonists are probably holding a bowl of jambalaya and a bottle of whiskey they intend for you to enjoy.
As is expected, traffic will be horrible coiming in, but you're coming from the south, head down Burbank. Parking is also a little tricky and there is free parking all around and on campus. So basically, find somewhere and snag a spot. To avoid congestion, check out the Tigers Bowl Bus (http://lsutigers.bowlbus.com/) or a shuttle through the city: (http://downtownbatonrouge.org/aroundShuttle.asp)
Pre and Post-Game:
Before the game: you tailgate. Well, buy beer and then tailgate. Next, be nice. Then, they will give you food. It will be food unlike any other food. Follow that up with drinking, and more food. Eat, drink, eat, drink, and be sure to keep this going until game time. Somewhere in between go check out the bachelor pad (three million dollar bachelor pad, I might add) where Mike the Tiger rolls clean. It’s located right outside the stadium near the Pete Maravich assembly center. Laugh at the fact that in the 1950’s students from Tulane stole him out of his habitat. Then resume your previous activities (eat, drink, drink, eat). Root your team on, have a bowl of jambalaya in the stadium and drive safe.
Post-game: The stadium is a couple miles south of downtown and the closest college bars are about a mile walk. There's also Chime's and Louie's which are basically on campus. From relaxed bars with huge beer selections (The Cove) to typical college bars (Bogie's, Freds, Uncle Earls) to live music downtown (Roux House) or upscale dinners (Sullivans) or casual restaurants like Harrington's for great local crawfish and gumbo, we have a ton of great suggestions.
Check our "Before & After the Game" map for details on these and several more spots for post-game food/drink.