Football is fun to watch and all but if you ask me, the best part about football season is the tailgates. Tailgating plays such a large role in football culture that even those that don’t understand the sport can join in on the festivities.

But planning a tailgate is a lot easier said than done. Sure, you can give your guests strong drinks and hope they get drunk enough to have a good time, but that can get out of hand. Not only can it make for a sloppy gathering, it can get expensive buying alcohol to please a large crowd.

For those who don’t love party planning, hosting a tailgate may sound like a horrible nightmare. But for those who want to go all out to show their athletic spirit (or just need another excuse to throw a party), here’s how to host the best tailgate ever.

Perfect Your Party Juice

A good party starts with good alcohol, so make sure whatever you’re serving your guests is high quality. It doesn’t have to be anything super extravagant, but it should be more than a liter of lemon-lime soda and a handle of the cheapest vodka you can find. Mix it up by making the juice themed to the colors of your team and if you get stuck, turn to Pinterest for some inspiration.

Have Red Solo Cups on Hand

Of course, no tailgate is complete without a classic beer pong tournament. As one of the most popular backyard games in America, red solo cups and some ping pong balls are an absolute necessity for any tailgate. Embrace your inner frat star and go all out - if you’re going to throw a tailgate you might as well do it right.

Lock Down a Prime Location

Tailgates can be fun in your house, but you can take them to the next level by buying a parking space close to the stadium. It might be the less practical option, but it’s a lot of fun to be surrounded by other fans who are just excited to host tailgates as you are. This certainly creates a different atmosphere for your celebration, as you’ll likely be inviting strangers to party with you in your trunk, but it can be fun to meet new diehards!

Plus, this can give you an in to future tailgates.

Decide on a Game Day Menu

To accompany your top-notch cocktail you’ll be serving, you have to have an array of delicious appetizers to keep the crowd pleased and satisfied. Finger foods work best, and anything you can tie back to the sport or your team is sure to be a favorite. If cooking’s not your thing, ask guests to bring their favorite tailgate food to share with the crowd, that way you’ll have a variety of snacks and you’ve got one less thing to worry about!

Once all the details in place, all you have to do is pick out the perfect game day outfit and you’ll be cheering your team on to victory before you know it. This football season, may your team go undefeated and may your tailgates be successful.