Updated: Jun 14, 2019
As mentioned in a previous blog post, should you be looking for a lot to park and/or tailgate in when coming into town for a game; beware as there are plenty of hidden landmines out there. While there are a lot of very good options, there are a bunch of trojan horses to which you need to be made aware of.
Now using our handy dandy little StubHub diagram below, you will see what we mean.
Now maybe you are a first timer coming to Charm City. Or perhaps just unfamiliar with downtown Baltimore. And when you are sitting at home, logging onto the inter-web and suddenly seeing all the bargain prices you begin to think you have yourself a deal and start reaching for the credit card. But don't do it! Put that card away. You see, unless this is your idea of luxury tailgate parking, then you my friend are on the wrong site...
Sadly, anything that seems too good to be true (and is more than .3 miles away from the stadium) usually is. It may seem like common sense, but there are countless people out there who end up buying these passes and end up completely lost or in a lot that does not even allow tailgating.
So here is our tip. Buy a ticket in the actual lot. Sure, sometimes they will be outrageously overpriced (parking in most cases is reserved for season ticket holders who then sell on the secondary market), but even if someone is trying to have you give up your first born, we are almost positive splitting the pass X amount of ways across your buddies comes out to less than a 6 pack of beer.
So with all of that said, tailgate parking in and around stadium is surprising pretty plentiful given its location directly in downtown Baltimore. Compared to most other urban stadiums, M&T makes it pretty simple to navigate while not making fans trek 1000 miles to the front gates. So without further ado, here is our list of the best lots/areas in and around M&T Bank Stadium.
#5 | Mass produced all-you-can-eat-and-drink tailgate lots
These can be found all around the surrounding stadium lots. Over on the corners of Russell & Ostend Streets or in an abandoned lot over on Leadenhall Street... they are literally everywhere. Now for the most part, all of these little different get togethers, charging you 40 dollars to stand in a lot with 600 of not-your-closest-friends (and probably half of them are visiting teams fans) may not be everyones cup of tea. Sure, you get congealed crab dip, dry burgers, and luke warm Miller Lite making you actually regret having a Sunday Funday. But at the end of the day, it is a mass produced event meant to corral you like cattle and keeping those margins nice and thin. Attend at your own risk.
Looks LIT to us...
#4 | Random lots across from the stadium lots charging you a thousand dollars
Now we know what you are saying... "You are supposed to be helping us!" Well, yes we are - thus the comment about pulling your money together with some friends and booking your next game with Tailgate Professional. But we are also here to tell you the best places for your money, should Tailgate Professional be something not in the cards for this moment in time. And these lots, while possibly breaking the bank, serve a particular purpose. For one, they do not have to follow the same parking rules and regulations of the stadium. So that means you can pretty mush start tailgating whenever you want and however long you want. What we mean is that M&T only allows you into the lots 4 hours before the game. You must be wrapped up 30 minutes after kickoff and no tailgating following the game. While the lots in discussion get to go by their own set of rules thus allowing earlier entry and the ability to do a little post game tailgating after to let the traffic die down. In addition, these lots allow canopy tents, while previously mentioned, the stadium lots do not. So that means rain, snow, sun, you are protected.
#3 | Lot B/C
The fancy lot. But to us, there is really nothing special and somewhat hyped up a little too much. Sure the Raven Walk goes right down the middle. Yeah there are a bunch of vendors charging 15 dollars for a pixi cup of soda w/ a splash of vodka. It may sound exclusive to your friends being in the B lot but at the end of the day there is nothing much to ride home about. It is middle of the pack because it is a middle of the pack option. You will pay a lot for some bells and whistles, but in the end, there are a lot of better options, but also worse.
#2 | Lot J
Now this lot from the outside may seem kind of in no man’s land.
And it's kind of true. However, it is probably one of the best located.
1. Sandwiched in between the horseshoe and the stadium.
2. Easy access into and out of the lot via close proximity to Russell Street.
3. Should you want to investigate - there are multiple third party shin- dings all around
But what it makes up for in ease of access, it lacks in protection from the weather. Similar to Lot B/C, you are out in the open. No trees, No overpass. No nothing. So with these lots, you always are gambling when it comes to mother nature. You may have a beautiful November day in the 60s or you could be standing in a torrential downpour the first week of September trying not to get hypothermia. For most true tailgaters, this may not be a concern. But those of you with a significant other...this is for you. Think twice before making a decision.
#1 | Lot G/H
What does this lot not have? These two (essentially one but broken into two sections) lie just steps from the stadium. A brisk 5 minute walk over the light rail tracks via the Ostend or Hamburg Street bridges. The ease of access whether you are coming off of 295 or in from Federal Hill could not be easier (although exiting the stadium is a little tricky... maybe just take your time leaving). But there are two wonderful benefits of this lot:
As one of Baltimore greatest infrastructural feats, they have a one mile stretch of highway that funnels drivers off of I-95 right into downtown. And this concrete vortex just so happens to sit over these two tailgate lots, thus protecting you from any possible H20 falling from the sky.
Extra tailgating space. So many times when you are at a tailgate you are nestled right up next to another car. Or you have to back into a space where you barely have enough room to open up your trunk let alone operating a grill and setting up a few tables. In these lots, all along the perimeter there is extra side walk space, grassy areas, and unused service roads. So if you get there early enough, you can look to double or triple your tailgate space for the sweet price of free ninety-nine.
Ultimately, there are really no bad tailgate lots when it comes to M&T bank. It really just comes to preference, inventory & how much you are willing to spend. But in the end:
Do not buy a parking garage pass.
And if you are parking at the Horseshoe - you better be going to a Tailgate Professional tailgate.