From tailgating to traffic, here’s everything you need to know as USC football gets underway

As the team heads into Saturday’s opener against UNLV, learn about tailgating permits, construction impacts and more

August 28, 2018 David Medzerian

The Trojans kick off the 2018 football season Saturday with a home stand against UNLV at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Here’s what you need to know about getting to the game, the pregame festivities on campus and the impact of construction in and around the storied stadium.

Football game day at USC: getting there

How’s the traffic?

Traffic and parking are always a challenge in L.A. Two big construction projects underway at Exposition Park (the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and the Coliseum renovation) as well as street improvements on Figueroa Street will complicate things further:

• If you’re driving, leave early and allow even more time than usual to find parking: The Lucas Museum construction will impact parking not just at Exposition Park but on campus as well. Follow USC Transportation on Twitter for live updates during football season. Permitted parking pass holders may need to be flexible on which USC parking structures they can access on game days. View the parking map for game days.

• Better yet, take the Metro Expo Line directly to the Expo Park/USC station.

On-campus fun on game day at USC

Who needs an on-campus tailgate permit?

Anyone can register for a permit and reserve their space. With a reservation, you can arrive any time after 6 a.m. and find your space marked and held for your group. Most on-campus space is taken by fans with tailgate permits. (Reservations are for the campus grounds only and do not include parking or a space for a vehicle.)

Tailgate permits are mandatory for:

• Large tailgate parties – those with 50 or more people attending.

• Anyone using USC electricity.

• Tailgates with a single tent larger than 10- by 20-foot or more than three 10- by 10-foot tents.

• Additional tailgating rules are online.

When can we be on campus?

To help minimize wear-and-tear on the university (not to mention the fans), on-campus tailgating will begin at 6 a.m. and close at kickoff.

Are there any family-oriented on-campus events?

The free Trojan Family Game Day Experience will again be offered at every Saturday home game. The family-focused space includes games for kids, big-screen TVs tuned to college games, plenty of tables and chairs, and a wide variety of food and beverages including soft drinks, beer and wine available for purchase. The event, open to the public, is in Alumni Park, across from Tommy Trojan in front of Doheny Library.

What else do you need to know?

• Glass containers are prohibited.

• Tailgating and game day parking at USC Village is prohibited. Restaurants and shops are open for dining on all game days; parking is reserved for shoppers and dining patrons only.

• On-campus tailgating is not permitted during weekday games. This season, USC takes on Washington State in a Friday night matchup at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 (the Rams also play a weekday game Thursday, Sept. 27, at 5:20 p.m. against the Minnesota Vikings).

• USC is a smoke-free environment. The policy applies to lighted cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic cigarettes, hookah or other lit products, and includes the use of any substance including tobacco, cloves or marijuana.

• The tailgate policies apply to on-campus gatherings. Similar procedures will apply within the Coliseum fences but not at Exposition Park, which is not overseen by the university.

At the Coliseum

Are there any changes due to the ongoing Coliseum renovation project?

The construction improvements to the Coliseum concourse are underway; ticketholders are advised to arrive early and prepare for delays in entering.

What else do I need to know?

• The Coliseum has a “clear bag” policy.

• Fans will again pass through airport-style security stations.

• Glass items are prohibited.