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From London To Tampa, Super Bowl Tailgating Is Super Fun

Category: Super Bowl, tailgate
Source: Tampa Bay Online
Publish Date: Sunday, February 1, 2009
Summary: DiEugenio helped convert an empty parking lot on Sligh Avenue into one of the biggest parties in town: SuperGate II. He dubbed it the Super Bowl experience for the common man, and 600 average Joes converged there.

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Published: February 1, 2009

A DREAM SEASON

Adam Goldstein grew up on the other side of the pond, where football is played with a round ball. But after watching the Bears win Super Bowl XX on the "tele," he was hooked on the American game.

Goldstein sold his London apartment and left his girlfriend to fulfill a lifelong dream: to see a game at all 32 NFL stadiums in one season. He went to Thursday games, Saturday games and Sunday games and managed to get to every stadium. He came to Tampa to "feel the Super Bowl vibe," but he didn't have a ticket.

"I blew through all my money by Week 15," said Goldstein, who's been chronicling his adventures at www.adamsfootballtrip.com.

SUPERGATE II

Jay DiEugenio considers himself a professional tailgater.

"I've tailgated at the NCAAs, NFL, NASCAR, horse racing – you name it," he said. "I've even tailgated the Jeopardy game show."

DiEugenio helped convert an empty parking lot on Sligh Avenue into one of the biggest parties in town: SuperGate II. He dubbed it the Super Bowl experience for the common man, and 600 average Joes converged there.

The party was rocking, too. Kids rode dirt bikes, while their parents grilled steak and lobster in front of their tricked-out RVs.

"Most of the people do not have tickets to the game," said DiEugenio, who hosts a tailgating radio show. "They just want to be in town to support their team. We've got a giant inflatable screen, and we're going to broadcast it here."

A FOOTBALL FIELD OF SHOTS

Some people just come for the party. Bart and Lisa Beaudry, from Southlake, Texas, wanted to set a world's record for the longest shot ever.

So what does one serve to get 225 people drinking simultaneously?

Cosmos. They go down pretty easily. Even the guys didn't mind drinking something a little girlie. At the count of three, everybody lined up side-by-side, for the length of a football field, raised their glasses, and down went the fruity pink concoction.

PITTSBURGH SOUTH

More than 3,000 people bought their tickets from StubHub, so the online broker hosted its first-ever Super Bowl tailgate party at Legends Field.

Fans munched on hot dogs and nachos and drank all the beer they wanted.

"Our customers spent an average of $2,400 a ticket," StubHub spokesman Sean Pate said. "It's the least we could do."

Most wore black and gold. "It feels like Pittsburgh-south," Steelers fan Bob Ayoob said.

But the Ragains brothers, who flew here from Phoenix, didn't mind being in the minority. "We feel a bond with the other Cards fans because there aren't a lot of us here," Paul Ragains said. "We're outnumbered, but we feel confident."

The brothers paid more than double the face value for their tickets. "We would have paid anything to see this," Ragains said.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND

Hundreds of fans waited outside Raymond James Stadium hoping to buy tickets, but there were very few sellers.

Wayne Demo, of Safety Harbor, and his son parked near the stadium entrance at 10 a.m., hoping to find a scalper who would sell tickets at face value. As kickoff approached, reality set in.

"The price is just too high," he said.

Chicago native Doug Tello held a sign offering to bare his chest for a ticket. He didn't get many offers.

Ryan O'Leary, who came from Dallas to see the game, thought he had scored two seats. He paid $4,000 cash, only to find out his tickets were counterfeit.

"We're sick to our stomachs," he said. He and his friend headed over to International Plaza to watch the game on TV.


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