Rutgers Tailgate/Visitors' Guide

Rutgers Tailgate/Visitors' Guide


Rutgers New Brunswick Campus (Raritan River in background)

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.

Rutgers University is located about 20 miles southwest of Manhattan in the suburban towns of New Brunswick and Piscataway, New Jersey.  It can be an intimidating environment for the uninitiated.  Traffic and a confusing road network compound a new visitor’s anxiety.  The whole key is to have a well thought out game plan.  Folks, this isn’t like driving to Syracuse, Louisville or Morgantown.  You can’t drive into town with just a hazy idea where to go.  If you prepare well, you will reap the rewards of having a car to visit many of New Jersey’s hidden secrets. If you decide against driving. flying into Newark Liberty International or taking the train into New Brunswick are your two best options. I think most fans will be pleasantly surprised with a trip to Rutgers.  IMHO, if you have a few extra days, you have the best city in the world 45 minutes away to visit.

Flying

You can fly into Newark and rent a car and drive to Rutgers. If you decide to rent a car, you need to do your homework.  Note: Leaving Newark International airport without an explicit set of directions is a sure way to risk embarrassment or worse yet an accident.  There is another option for anybody who isn’t comfortable driving in a busy, fast paced area. It is possible to fly into Newark Liberty International and get to the game without using a car. You can get a train from the airport and take it into New Brunswick. From there your hotel should be able to provide you a courtesy shuttle. Expect to take a cab or hop a ride with fellow fans to the game though. Note: There are not any motels really close to the stadium.


AirTrain

How to Transfer to the train after landing at Newark Int’l:

1. Find out which terminal you are arriving to.
2. Obviously collect your bags
3. Proceed to the airport shuttle train. Look for signs marked Monorail / AirTrain Link. Note: Do not follow signs for Ground Transportation. There are three different terminals (A, B and C) and you need to get on the shuttle (AirTrain) and go to the Newark Liberty Int’l Train Station. Note: AirTrain takes you between the airline terminals, central parking areas, car rental facilities and hotel courtesy vehicles. All travel within the airport is free. You need to go past Terminal C and P4 (Parking) and onto the train station.

 

4. Get off the AirTrain Shuttle
From the NJ Guide, "When you exit AirTrain at Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station, follow the signs to NJ TRANSIT trains. You will go up one level, pass through the fare gates and go down one level onto the NJ TRANSIT train platforms. It takes approximately 5 minutes to get from AirTrain to the NJ TRANSIT platform." A nice 360 view of the ticket/gate area is here.
5. Purchase your ticket; there are several different areas where to purchase your ticket. If you are a first time visitor, it is best to get it at the Train Station (Click on "Cost and Tickets" Link). You are going to the Central New Jersey area. You want to get on the New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor Line run by NJ Transit. A sample check for a Saturday shows a train leaving about every 20-30 minutes to New Brunswick. The cost is about $12.00. Using the trip planner be sure to put in Northeast Corridor in both boxes and select Newark Airport and New Brunswick for your departure/destination as appropriate. Note: Some of the options have you getting on the "North Jersey Coastline" and transferring at the Rahway Station.
6. Get off at the New Brunswick Train Station. It is located in downtown New Brunswick at the intersection or Easton Ave (Route 527) and Albany Ave (Route 27). You are within walking distance (about a mile) of the Busch Campus where the Football Field is located. There are shuttle buses that run from the Hyatt Hotel and The Ferren Parking Deck (across from the train station) in NB directly to the stadium.

Driving By Car

The official Rutgers University web site says:

From the New Jersey Turnpike, North or South: Take Exit 9-New Brunswick. **After toll, follow signs for Route 18 North-New Brunswick. Proceed along Route 18 North past "Rt. 27" and "George St." exits and over the Raritan River on the John Lynch Memorial Bridge. Follow signs to appropriate lot.

From Route 1, North or South:
Take the exit for Route 18 North-New Brunswick and proceed from ** above.
From Route 287:
Take exit 9 and proceed on River Road towards Highland Park. Follow signs for Rutgers and to appropriate lot.
From the Garden State Parkway Traveling South:
Follow Parkway South to Exit 129-New Jersey Turnpike. Travel South on the New Jersey Turnpike to Exit 9-New Brunswick. Follow from ** above.
From the Garden State Parkway Traveling North:
Follow Parkway North to Exit 105-Route 18. Take Route 18 North and follow directions from** above.
FROM NEW YORK CITY & VICINITY:
Take the closest Hudson River crossing to reach the NJ Turnpike South. Follow the NJ Turnpike directions above.
FROM TRENTON & PHILADELPHIA AREAS:
Take the NJ Turnpike North. Follow the Turnpike directions above.

Finally, one more useful web site with directions is here.


Rutgers Stadium

Parking

Parking is not easy at Rutgers, especially since they are now drawing nice crowds. Officially, all parking on the Busch Campus is prepaid. A nice overview of the Busch and College Ave campuses shows you that Rutgers is spread out among many different locales. 

Note: You can park on the College Ave. campus during game day and walk or shuttle to the game.  The best thing to do is park in one of the lots behind the College Avenue gym and then jump on one of the buses that are lined up in front of the gym. There's also plenty of parking along Senior Street and Sicard St. alongside of and beyond the gym.   When you buy your Rutgers ticket, you should also buy a parking pass if you want to park on the Busch Campus.  The following is the parking info supplied by the University.

Stadium Parking

1. ALL STADIUM PARKING MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE.
2. SEASON PARKING: $42 - Purple Lot; $30 - LBAC Lot (includes six home games) for season ticket holders.
3. SINGLE GAME PARKING: $8 PER GAME – Game-by-game parking may be purchased in advance. Parking passes not sold without ticket purchases. Day of game parking is only available in the Athletic Center lots.
4. BUS PARKING: $20 PER GAME. Game-by-game parking may be purchased in advance. Parking passes not sold without ticket purchase. Day of game parking is only available in the Athletic Center (The RAC) and Stadium White Lots.
5. For fans wishing to park together, all vehicles must enter lots at the same time with each displaying a matching parking pass. Parking spaces are for vehicles only. 6. Disabled ID, registration, or placard must be presented in order to purchase disabled parking. Proper identification must be displayed with parking pass to park in designated areas. Season disabled parking in Scarlet or White lots. Single game disabled parking in Physics lot or Athletic Center lots with shuttle van/cart service to and from Stadium North gate.
7. Parking for box trucks in Purple or Athletic Center lots only.
8. Reproduction of parking passes is strictly prohibited. The display of a fraudulent pass is a criminal offense, punishable up to a $1,000 fine.
9. Lock your vehicle. Rutgers University is not responsible for fire, theft, damage or loss of the vehicle or any contents.

The following parking and traffic policies, in effect for Rutgers Stadium Football games, have been implemented by the University to facilitate parking and traffic flow on game day.

• $8.00 per vehicle per game; $20 per bus per game.
• Parking spaces are for vehicles only.
• All vehicles wishing to park in any paid lot must purchase parking passes in advance at the Rutgers Ticket Office, 866-445-GORU (4678). Only Louis Brown Athletic Center passes can be obtained day of game, if available.
• Must purchase game ticket(s) and parking pass(es) at the same time. Limit one parking pass for each ticket purchased.

• University Parking decals will not be accepted for pre-paid parking lots listed on the reverse side, except for the Louis Brown Athletic Center lots.
• Parking for box trucks in Purple or Athletic Center lots only.
• Charter buses: $20/bus - per game. Follow signs to Athletic Center or Stadium White lot and be directed to the appropriate parking area.
• Follow stadium signs to disabled parking areas. Season disabled parking in Scarlet (West) and White (East) lots. Single game disabled parking in Lot 53/Busch Campus and Athletic Center lots with free shuttle service. For more information on disabled parking, call the Rutgers Ticket Office at: 866-445-GORU (4678).
• Reproduction of parking passes is strictly prohibited. The display of a fraudulent pass is a criminal offense, punishable up to a $1,000 fine.
• Lock your vehicle. Rutgers University is not responsible for fire, theft, damage or loss of the vehicle or any contents. Unofficial Note from a Rutgers Fan: "It's not in writing, but if you bring an RV to the game, park at the RAC. I know for a fact, you will be able to park overnight. The RAC is the place to go if you don't have prepaid parking tickets."  A shuttle bus runs before and after games between the RAC parking lots and the football stadium.

Tailgating


Rutgers Tailgating

Tailgating suffers from short duration (only three hours) but you can tailgate until dusk if you have an early kickoff.  The university web site outlines the following policies:

Tailgate Policies

• Parking lots open three hours before kick-off and close at dusk.
• Parking spaces are limited and tailgating must be confined to a small area around your vehicle. For safety purposes, traffic aisles & parking spaces can not be blocked at any time.
• For fans wishing to park together, all vehicles must enter lots at the same time, displaying matching parking passes.
• For reasons of crowd safety, all stadium parking lots are reserved for those attending the game. If you do not attend the game you will be asked to leave the stadium parking lots at kick-off time.

• University regulations and state statutes on drug and alcohol consumption will be strictly enforced.
• Kegs, beer balls, tents and canopies are prohibited. These items are not permitted in the parking lots/adjacent areas at any time.
• For safety purposes, charcoal should be discarded in specially marked yellow barrels located throughout the parking lots.
• Please remember that the grass fields are used by our students for recreation; putting trash in proper receptacles is appreciated.

LODGING

Rutgers lacks the close by hotels/motels where you can walk to the game. However, there are a lot of motels within a short drive. They mainly cater to the business traveler. Your best bet is to stay in New Brunswick or the nearby strip of motels.

If you want to save some dough $$$, try the Motel 6 chain by the freeways (I-95/287). there are three motels close by and have rooms for under $60. The Hyatt has a nice advantage because there is a shuttle that leaves in front of their hotel for the game. The university has negotiated rates with local motels. They seem to be good and a few motels I checked seem to have discount rates on home game weekends. Note: Do not stay at the motels listed for the Newark or Camden campuses unless you enjoy driving.

 
New Brunswick Hyatt

SHOPPING

A couple large scale malls are nearby.  Menlo Park Mall and Brunswick Square Mall should keep your non-football watching spouse happy.  One other suggestion is to wander around the many shops in downtown New Brunswick.


Menlo Park Mall

DINING

For classic game day grub, you need to wander down to College Ave and experience the Grease Trucks. Basically these are parked trucks which serve food. It doesn’t sound too appetizing to me, but the students love them.  You are in New Jersey so expect almost all Italian food to be excellent. 


 Grease Truck

Stuff Yer Face has a reputation for excellent strombolis.  R.U.

R.U. Grill and Pizza is also noted for excellent Italian. And they offer the famous "Fat Darrell".  Eat at your own risk.


Fat Darrell (aka Fat Steve)

Old Man Rafferty's is an excellent American Style Restaurant with a nice menu featuring delicious desserts. Downtown New Brunswick Downtown New Brunswick offers huge selections of restaurants. Enjoy!

GOLF

Consider playing one of these three Middlesex county golf courses, all located close to the Rutgers New Brunswick campus:

Raritan Landing Golf Course

This easy 3,400-yard, par-58 family style golf course, designed by Stephen Kay, opened on October 1, 1999. It is located a short drive from the Rutgers New Brunwick campus. Cost for 18 holes on the weekend for a non resident is $28 walking (carts are $26).  If you don't have much time or are a poor golfer, this would be a good choice.

The Meadows at Middlesex Golf Course

The Meadows is an 18-hole, 6,290-yard, par-70 championship course.  It is located a short drive from the Rutgers New Brunswick campus. This bent grass golf course was designed by Joe Finger in 1972 and finished in 1980 by world renowned designer Tom Fazio. It features a full-service restaurant, locker rooms and electric carts. Cost for 18 holes on the weekend for a non resident is $34 walking (carts are $30).

Tamarack

Tamarack features two 18-hole championship golf courses, both designed by Hal Purdy (who designed a number of course in the Syracuse area, including Foxfire, Pompey Club and Kanon Valley).  The East (Gold and Blue) course is a 6,226-yard, par-71 course and the West (Red and White) course is a 7,025-yard, par-72 course.  The West course is tougher and is the better choice if you are an advanced golfer.

Tamarack includes a full-service restaurant, locker rooms and electric carts. The driving range features 34 stalls, five target greens and top-of-the-line tees and teepads. Located in East Brunswick, it is a short drive from the Rutgers New Brunswick campus.

The New Jersey State Golf Association rated Tamarack West as the second most-difficult course in Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Somerset and Union Counties.  Cost for 18 holes for either course on the weekend for a non resident is $30 walking (carts are $30).  Please note that these courses never close.

Rutgers University Golf Course

Over 6,000 yards in length, the picturesque, tree-lined course is a par 71 and offers a challenging layout with four teeing areas per hole. Like Tamarack, this course was designed by Hal Purdy (who designed a number of course in the Syracuse area, including Foxfire, Pompey Club and Kanon Valley).  Highlights include narrow fairways, fast greens, and water hazards on nine holes. Golf Magazine awarded the course a 4 star rating in 2004.


Aerial View of Rutgers University Golf Course

Cost for 18 holes on the weekend is $42 walking (golf carts are $30). If you want to play here, get a tee time ASAP. The course is in great demand on football weekends.

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.

Return to TexanMark's Big East Tailgating Guides Main Page