This is one of a series of tailgating guides for Big East football schools written by Syracuse fan and tailgate aficionado TexanMark. If you have any feedback or additional information you think belongs in this guide, please drop an email message to Mark by clicking here.
First Things First: GETTING THERE
UConn is close for most
People can fly
inexpensively via Southwest Airlines or alternatively to Providence and Albany (and drive over). Of course,
you can also fly into
UConn’s football stadium is located about 30 minutes west
It is a great venue with seating close to the field. It was literally built on an old Pratt and Whitney Factory Airfield (Rentschler Airfield) and opened for the fall 2003 season.
You can park just outside the stadium if you have preferred VIP seating or access to a season parking pass. If not you can park in the general parking areas a bit farther out which is also where the RVs park. You will be parking your car on the old Runway/taxiways. You can catch a shuttle from the outlying lots to the stadium. For a Weeknight game, you will find folks entering the parking lot around . Saturday games depend on the kickoff time but expect the hardcore to arrive 4-5 hours prior to kickoff.
Tailgating at the Rent
UConn has a very restrictive tailgating policy in their official parking areas.
A quick summary of rules: Small propane grills are okay, kegs are not, no tailgating during the game or after! UConn fans have assured me this is much overstated. The major part of tailgating occurs after the game as the "hardcore kick back, grill and kibitz about the game crowd" takes over the parking lots. On Saturdays, some will bring TV’s and stay from after the game well into twilight ( or beyond). No one is going to enforce the harsh rules that came out immediately after opening (as long as you don’t act like a jerk!); some Risk Manager (probably influenced by Hartford based companies) probably came up with that idiotic list.
They serve Beer in the
Stadium (lots of variety too; everything from Sam Adams; Rolling Rock;
You won’t find large
numbers of professional scalpers selling tickets around the stadium. It just isn’t part of the environment for UConn (YET). That’s
not to say you won’t find some guy waving an extra ticket at the gate; I do not
think you’ll find volumes of tickets available … but there will be some. The best spots to find tickets are at the end of the runways nearest the stadium
or near the two gates on the other side of the stadium (
Another Tailgate/Parking Option is from "Pratt Club"
The Pratt &
Whitney Aircraft Club directly across from Rentschler
Field runs a lot for tailgating. The Club is a five minutes walk from the
stadium, right off
This is a great option for visiting fans. Looks like a good place to do a tailgate and the best thing is it looks like a right turn to get back to the freeway for fans. The benefit is it provides ease of access and doesn't get you at the end of the runway following 15,000 other cars. There is a lot of land (softball fields, etc); you can grill; and there is a clubhouse building for bathrooms.
And One More Tailgate Option:
website of UConn tailgating holds regular tailgates in the parking
lot of Silva’s Youth of Today Learning Center,
Just east of the stadium is Town & Country Package Store 785 Silver Lane Phone# 860-569-1444 and the Super Stop and Shop (a full range grocery and pharmacy) at 940 Silver lane in Charter Oak Shopping Plaza Phone# 860-569-7050
The bad news is not a lot of lodging located within walking distance. Two motels are located across the freeway on the north side but you can walk to the stadium.
The Days Inn (ph 860-289-4950, 333 Roberts St. offers nice accommodations at a moderate price. NOTE: This was the Wellesley Inn until July 05 when it converted to the Days Inn.
The other close motel is the Holiday Inn and
also offers nice rooms for a moderate price (860-528-9611,
If you reserve early you should be able to get a room in either motel for about $80 -$100 a night. Two-night minimum stays are not required which is great for quick trips. I believe both have shuttles to the gate. Margarita’s Restaurant is large and has hosted get-togethers for opponents both pregame and post game. It is located across the street from the two motels.
Hartford (ph 860-528-9703,
This motel is bit farther away but is within walking distance (15 minutes tops with little to no traffic and they might shuttle your party if you ask).
LODGING (5-10 minutes away):
Clarion Suites (ph 860-643-5811,
The Hilton Garden Inn is located in Glastonbury, a few miles south of the stadium. You can enter the stadium through the Rentschler Field Willow Gate. Expect to pay $120+.
options found in downtown
If you plan to
just go to the game and you want a convenient place to "crash" the motels in
The Goodwin Hotel is a fabulous boutique hotel for this sized city. It was beautifully renovated about 12 years ago and has good restaurants and a nice bar. The Residence Inn by Marriott has a real nice property. The Marriott has also opened a second brand new huge hotel, this one is very upscale. The Hilton also is fairly new and just had a recent major renovation. If people want to stay in the nicer suburbs southwest of Hartford (closer to NY Metro area), the Farmington Marriott or Courtyard by Marriott are very good hotels. Because they are business-focused, they likely will have plenty of rooms on weekend nights.
|Goodwin Hotel||Hartford Marriott|
More info about Lodging can be found at the local city visitors' website.
A major mall – Buckland’s
Hills Mall in
The West Farms Mall in
If your spouse wants to stay closer East Hartford has a few diversions.
|Shoppes at Buckland Hills||West Farms Mall|
You can find
several restaurants near the stadium (pizza, BBQ, etc...) Margarita’s
Mexican Restaurant is located across the street from the two motels at
Other close by restaurant choices are available.
Hartford has a ton of
places to eat. If you want to give Coach Calhoun some coin, stop in his sports
bar restaurant. It has a very good
reputation: It is located about two blocks from the
pub, The Half Door, that’s good by
Parking info for Downtown Hartford:
Plenty of garages and on street surface lots. The central core seems well lit and safe. Stay near the businesses + bars and you should be fine…that’s the mantra I would remember.
There are a wide range of courses in the greater Hartford area. Here are some choices for you to consider:
Rockledge Golf Club is a fairly easy, usually well maintained public course in West Hartford about a mile off I-84 (take exit 41).
Yardage: reds: 5434, whites: 6069, blues: 6436.
Cost: $34.50 to walk on weekends.
Lyman Orchards Golf Club features two top notch public courses, one designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr and one by Gary Player. Both are beautiful, well mantained and very challenging. And both are ranked among the top 10 public courses in the state of Connecticut. This club is located about 20 miles south of Hartford in Middlefield.
Yardage: RTJ blues: 7,011, Gary Player blues: 6,725
Cost: $59 to ride on the weekends (carts are mandatory).
Keney Park is a municipal course located in the City of Hartford, not far from downtown. Built in 1927, it features small elevated undulating greens and tight fairways. The tee boxes tend to be mostly dirt and the fairways get dry and hardpan in the summer. The neighborhood is also somewhat questionable.
Yardage: reds: 5005, whites: 5678, blues: 5969.
Cost: about $35 to walk on the weekends.
|Rockledge Golf Club||Lyman Orchards Golf Club|
Another option is to play at Foxwoods Golf & Country Club , part of the Foxwoods Casino Complex (the wonder of it all), which is in South County, Rhode Island, about 45 miles southeast of Hartford.
Carved out of the woods of South County Rhode Island, Foxwoods Golf and Country Club is a respectful tribute to the classic New England golf course. Incorporated into the design are dramatic elevation changes offering panoramic views and natural contours of the scenic terrain that surrounds it.
Yardage: blues: 6,004 yards
Cost: unknown but surely expensive
Gambling fans also have the option of stopping by the nearby Mohegan Sun Casino, one of the top casinos in the Eastern United States.
A special thanks to UConn fans, "Pudge" and "DuzyPies", for their help on this guide.
The opinions expressed in this guide are those of TexanMark. While every effort has been made to ensure all the information presented is accurate and current, it would be wise to verify things when possible`. Please note that this guide is not endorsed by Scout.com, its site publishers, administrators and/or moderators.