Tailgating is a family affair for Omaha clan

By Jon Kipper – NewsNetNebraska

The Gates family hasn’t missed a tailgate since 2003.

They have braved snowstorms, car trouble and have even skipped a few relatives’ weddings to get to their tailgate near Memorial Stadium.

“We have told our family and friends for years that if you schedule a wedding on a Husker game day then there is a decent chance we can’t make it,” said Ed Gates, father of the family.

The Gates family, who hail from Omaha, have tailgated in several locations before settling in a spot in the Haymarket that overlooks the new Pinnacle Bank Arena. They’ve been tailgating since they got season tickets in the early 2000s.

“We’ve seen Nebraska play some fairly bad football, but we have also been there for some great moments,” Ed Gates said.

The family certainly goes all out with amenities, lining the tables with different food for each game day. Some days it will be burgers, others barbecue chicken or tacos but since the Southern Mississippi-Nebraska game had a morning start, Beth Gates, the matriarch of the family, made a breakfast casserole, which made son Issac happy.

“Mom’s food is the only good thing about morning games,” he said.

Ed and Beth Gates always try to be at the tailgate at least four hours before the game and even sooner for night games. They do all the prepping the night before and they pack the car up before they go to bed.

Friends of the family often meet them at the tailgate, and their children, all four, who are college age or older, typically come for the food and then shimmy off to friends’ tailgates after a while.

The Gates family also welcomes anyone who walks by and looks curious, Ed Gates said.

“Beth makes too much food as it is, so really we just don’t want to take a bunch of stuff home.”

Isaac Gates recalls his first Husker game.

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