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Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

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Joliet, Illinois
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Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

I am traveling from Chicago to Detroit for a Bears/Lions game. I have not been to Detroit or Ford Field before. I am looking for some help. What lots are good to tailgate in? Or does the stadium have its own lot? I am used to Soldier Field that doesn't really have its own lot. There are just lots scattered around that you park and either walk or shuttle bus to the stadium. Any tips for what time to get to the lots for tailgating in the morning? Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

Detroit, Michigan
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1. Re: Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

You can find lots along Park, Clifford, and Cass which run parallel directly behind Woodward Avenue. Woodward is about 2 blocks from Ford Field and any of these lots offer great access to the arena. They're also about as close as you can get to the arena without having to pay $40+ to park. These lots will run around $20 - $30 for Lions games. There are also a few lots along Woodward, north of I-75.

Edited: 12:05 pm, September 10, 2012
Joliet, Illinois
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2. Re: Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

Great info! Thanks. I will check it out. Do you know what times lots open? Most lots by Soldier Field open at 8am for noon games. But a couple open earlier. I like to get out there by 7am or earlier. Will I be able to do this?

Thanks again!!

Detroit, Michigan
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3. Re: Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

I'm not sure when the public lots open for game days. I would assume around 8:00, but I'm not 100% sure.

It's a further walk, but Eastern Market is another excellent option for tailgating. I've provided their link. Are you planning to stay overnight in Detroit or drive back after the game?

www.detroiteasternmarket.com/events_page.php…

Marquette, Michigan
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4. Re: Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

Just FYI the game in Detroit will begin at 1:00 PM Eastern Time....

Marquette, Michigan
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5. Re: Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

If you are just looking for a beer or two and some pre-game atmosphere you may want to consider going to the Elwood for pre-game directly across from Ford Field. They use the adjacent parking structure for beer and hot dog sales with a band and it is pretty much out of the elements (propane heaters during the colder months). Usually a pretty big crowd there likley including other Bear fans.

OTOH, if you are tied into your own tailgating plans you shouldn't have much of a problem finding a nearby spot to park depending on how much $$$ you are willing to part with.

Edited: 3:19 pm, September 10, 2012
Detroit, MI
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6. Re: Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

Not a fan of the Elwood. $5 cans of beer are as bad as stadium pricing. If you are in eastern market, check out Vivio's. They also run a shuttle.

Ann Arbor, MI
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7. Re: Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

There's a lot of info about tailgating at Eastern Market here:

www.detroiteasternmarket.com/page.php…

I've done it once and I have nothing to compare it to--but it was FUN!

Their website says they open 4 hours before the game and they have a shuttle for $5 that'll take you to the game. Cars are $45 so it is not cheap.

Joliet, Illinois
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8. Re: Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

I am a hard core tailgater at soldier field. I usually get down to my lot around 6:30 or 7am for a noon game. If the lots open at 8am, thats cool too. I plan to bring a grill, cooler, etc. and really do some good tailgating before the game. In chicago I pay $25 to get into my lot. I don't really want to spend much more than that. $45 is crazy. We also get free shuttles here. But $5 isn't terrible. It sounds like we may need to just head out and see what we can find. I don't mind a mile or so walk to get to the stadium either.

We are staying at a hotel the night before and after the game. But the one we ended up with is over the border. Is this common? Are we going to have issues traveling across with coolers of beer and food?

Thanks to all for the help!

Detroit, Michigan
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9. Re: Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

You will have to declare anything you bring over the border. Also, wait times for the bridge and tunnel can be a breeze at times, and at others can be an hour wait. If you have the opportunity to cancel and re-book in Detroit, I would highly advise doing so. If not, you may want to add extra driving time when heading to the game.

Detroit, MI
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10. Re: Traveling to Ford Field for game.... Need advice!!

You will have to declare all food and drink at the border, and it can be a major hassle. I've been sent to secondary for 45 minutes to pay duty - you are basically detained as they go over your car too. You must also have a passport or enhanced drivers licence to cross.

Ontario taxes US alcohol at insane rates, so you don't want to buy in the US and take it into Canada. They also have very high pricing on alcohol they sell there, so you don't want to buy in Ontario and bring it back to the US. The only exception is duty free just before the tunnel entrance. They have some great liquor deals, and beer is roughly the same as in the US. I don't believe they have any cold.

Truthfully I would recommend changing your reservation and staying on the US side, even if you had to move out to the suburbs. If you stay in Canada, move your coolers empty and buy beer before the game. To complicate things even more, Michigan requires a special licence for Sunday alcohol sales before noon on Sundays. Not all party stores and bars opted to buy the extra license, so not all can sell to you early. The earliest those with the special licence can sell is 7:00 am.