A First Timer’s Guide to NFL Games

If you have never been to an NFL game, you are in for such a fun experience! The game day experience is so exciting, but it can be hard to navigate if it’s your first time. I attended almost every home game for my beloved Minnesota Vikings, and have gained some insight over the years!

Finding Tickets: Most of the tickets for games are sold to season ticket holders long before the season starts, so you will have to shop resale markets. I am not trusting of any site other than Ticketmaster for resale tickets—I’ve had friends end up with counterfeit tickets and it was a mess on game day, even for websites that claim will protect customers. The times that I have found the cheapest resale tickets are a few months before the game date, or a day or two before the game. I spend a lot of time scrubbing the resale seats on Ticketmaster, and if you’re vigilant, really good seats can pop up from someone who has to cancel last minute and just wants to get rid of the tickets.

Where to Sit: I really prefer sitting in the lower level and I’m willing to pay more to do so. It’s a lot easier to see the action in front of you instead of watching the whole game from the big screen. I’m also terrified of heights so I hate being in the upper levels! Typically the sideline seats are the most expensive and endzones are the cheapest. I usually try to sit in the corners where you still get a good view of the whole field.

A First Timers Guide to NFL Games | Style & the Suburbs

What to Wear: Be aware of the weather and know if the stadium is indoor or outdoors. Our stadium is an indoor stadium but can be pretty cold or really warm depending on if you are sitting in the sun. I always like to have a coat or sweater just in case. Wear comfortable shoes because there can be a lot of walking and stair climbing to get to your seats.

No Bag Policy: NFL stadiums have a no bag policy that they enforce. You can bring a selection of designated clear bags / pouches, or something wallet sized. Instead of trying to fight the policy, I just bring my keys and credit card in a small wallet and keep it in my pocket. It’s just easier that way, and you don’t really need your entire makeup bag to go to a 3 hour football game anyways.

Arrive Early: The security lines to games can be really long, and it can take a while to get through a congested stadium to get to your seat. I like to see the pregame activities and be in my seat for kickoff, so I try to arrive at the stadium about an hour early. The stadium doors usually open 2 hours before kickoff, and you can go to your seats really early to watch the teams warm up. I don’t do this every game, but it’s fun to watch sometimes!

What to Eat: As a vegetarian who doesn’t really like fried food, it’s pretty hard for me to find anything to eat at games, so I usually eat before I go. If you have dietary restrictions or aren’t a fan of typical stadium food, I would recommend researching ahead of time if you plan on eating at the game. You’re not supposed to bring food in, but sometimes I smuggle in a baggie of nuts or something high protein to hold me through the game. (Some people smuggle in alcohol, I smuggle in high protein snacks LOL).

Bringing Kids: Some NFL environments are not the most kid-friendly places, and it’s something to be aware of. The games can be long and hard to pay attention to, especially for a younger kid! I have found that preseason games are a lot more family friendly and cheaper too. Although they aren’t as competitive as the regular season games, you still get the whole game experience!

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