Hi, Senior City Editor Katie here. 👋 Back in September, I got to experience tailgating at the first University of Louisville home football game against Florida State — that’s a lot of firsts, I know.
But this wasn’t just any back-of-the-truck, charcoal grill tailgating — I got to attend Kroger’s UofL Ultimate Tailgating Experience, which is a free event for Kroger customers via its Fan Rewards program (select your local store to see details).
Here’s how it went.
What we tried (with pricing):
Kroger’s Ultimate Tailgating Experience happens at every UofL home football game in a giant white tent filled with red clad tables and decked out with Louisville Cards decorations — there’s even a red wacky inflatable guy. The free event features food, drinks, a DJ, cornhole + more exclusively for Kroger customers.
And it’s easy to get in on the action. Kroger customers can earn points at their local Kroger store by buying participating products to be redeemed for a free ticket to the tailgating event or for UofL, UK, SIU, or IU swag.
Read on to discover what not to miss (hint: it includes an impressive menu of free food) + how you can try this at the next Louisville Cardinal home football game.
What not to miss:
Two words — free food. Each UofL Ultimate Tailgate Experience ticket includes a pre-game meal featuring Kroger products + snacks from each tailgate’s sponsors. And that’s not all. The ticket also comes with two drink vouchers redeemable for beer, hard seltzer, or a non-alcoholic beverage, like Louisville-founded Phocus water, all for free.
Here’s what I got on my plate:
- Cocktail meatballs
- Bratwurst with mustard
- Mac and cheese
Here’s what I sampled:
- Hall’s Snappy Beer Cheese — original + Hot ‘N Snappy
- Local seasonings from Dan-O’s — my favorite was the original blend
- Street-style tacos made with La Banderita flour tortillas
What we’re still talking about:
Location, location, location. If the UofL Kroger Tailgate Experience were any closer to the stadium, it would be on the field. It’s located in the Planet Fitness Purple Lot directly next to the Cardinal March tunnel for easy access to the Cards game after the tailgate. It was also a great spot to watch eager fans funnel into the stadium.
How you can experience this:
To get in on this free tailgating experience all you have to do is shop, earn + redeem via the Kroger Fan Rewards program. For every $1 you spend on participating Kroger products — like Red Bull, Frito-Lay, Chobani + more — one Fan Reward point will be automatically added to your account.
Once you’ve racked up 35 points or more, you can redeem them for a tailgate experience ticket — which will appear as a digital redemption ticket you’ll show at the Kroger tailgate event gate.
Things to know if you go:
- Experience: UofL Ultimate Tailgating Experience
- Price: 35 Kroger Fan Reward points
- Website: http://www.kroger.com/fanrewards (select your local store to see details)
- Address: Planet Fitness Purple Lot at Cardinal Stadium
- Hours: Before UofL football home games
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