What is going on with tailgate parking at Navy?
If you have been or been looking to attend a Navy football game this year in Annapolis, you may have noticed the difficulty in trying to procure a parking pass in some of the normal tailgate lots, i.e. Blue or Gold. In years past, these lots have been readily available and easily purchased through the school, third-party sites or even day-of right outside the stadium. However, this year, that no longer seems to be the case. It almost seems like they no longer exist. But in fact, they have not gone anywhere, rather they have become mutually exclusive to season ticket holders. Which in turn is the reason why you not only cannot obtain parking through the school but also why you see so little or no parking pass options on third-party ticket sites.
The reason? Well, there has not been one. The speculation is maybe they wanted to weed out any rift-raft that would cause too much of a disturbance to the normal tailgate crowd. There is also the other theory that they are doing this as an effort to push season ticket packages. Whatever the case may be, if you are looking to tailgate on the grounds of the stadium, you will not be in the normal gravel/lots unless you know someone. But why can't season ticket holders just sell unwanted passes online? Well, here is where Navy got smart.
Figures those brainiacs found a way to close up the loophole. Instead of being issued single-game parking passes, season-ticket holders are now given a single "punch-card" parking pass. So if you try to sell parking to one game, you are selling your parking for all the games. The only on-site parking that comes in the single-pass version is the Blue and Gold "Admiral" numbered lots. Now while these spots are nice and close to the stadium, they however can cause an issue if you are needing to obtain more than one space. First, there are typically not that many floating around on the secondary market. And second, should you find multiple passes for sale, you will more than likely not have spots right next to each other. And in these lots, you must park where you are assigned. No exceptions.
So where does this leave the general public? Well, there are a few different options. First, you can always risk it and see if there are scalpers outside the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium lots selling passes. You can then always park in one of the auxiliary lots and get shuttled to the stadium. But what if you want to tailgate beforehand? I mean, this is a huge part of Navy football, right? Well, there are a few options, but here is your best bet to find tailgate accepted parking (and excesses space) as well as be close to the stadium. And best of all? The lots open 1-2 hours before those at the stadium.
If you are heading into town for game and tailgating is on your agenda, make your way to Germantown Elementary / Phoneix Academy. Here you are about an 8-minute walk from the stadium, the lots open well before those at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, the cost is only $25 and there is plenty of grassy spaces to extend out your game-day tailgate.
These lots, while technically the same and run by the same school, have two different entrances. If you want to be at Phoneix Academy, we recommend planning to enter into the lot off of Locust Ave. The upside of this lot is that it gets you a little bit closer to the stadium. The downside is there are not that many spaces and the outer edges are not as large as those over on the other side at Germantown Elementary. Speaking of Germantown. The best way to enter this lot will be off of Windell Ave. The downside to this lot is it is a little bit further away than the Phoneix Academy lot (but in the grand scheme of things, it is only like 4 minutes). The upside? Space. You will find a much better abundance of parking spaces that back to grassy areas to extend out your tailgate.
While being in an "off-site" parking lot may turn people off, these parking and tailgate options can often tend to be better options. Easier in and out logistics. Not as crammed. And of course, more tailgate time. While there are few negatives (not as many bathrooms and trash options) we find that given the circumstances Navy football has enforced, these parking options will give you the exact same or better game-day experience.