Tailgate location is everything for Lincoln couple, neighbors

Story and audio by Matt Reynoldson, NewsNetNebraska

  • Charlie and Mary Corbin, Lincoln, have enjoyed their tailgate in the Journal Star parking lot for almost a decade.

Seven Saturdays every fall, the city of Lincoln adorns itself in red to cheer on its beloved football team at Memorial Stadium. Some estimates indicate that Lincoln grows by more than 50,000 on home football Saturdays. Football is tradition in this college town, but for everyone from college students to retirees, a tradition almost as big as football is tailgating.

Tailgate pioneers

Charlie and Mary Corbin of Lincoln have tailgated in the northeast corner of the Journal Star lot for almost eight years. The couple first bought their parking spot eight years ago with their neighbors, and a group of about 40 regulars makes this one of the most popular tailgates in the area.

“The best parts are the people and the camaraderie,” Charlie Corbin says. “Our location is perfect for being fans, too.”

Many students and fans will get to the stadium almost two hours before kickoff. But the Corbins are able to pack it up and get to the game a mere 30 minutes before the start. They say they occasionally miss the band or the tunnel walk, but for them, it’s about the full experience of game day.

“The atmosphere and the people in Lincoln make tailgating special here.”

Friends and neighbors helping out

Those friends and neighbors have made the tailgate successful. Bob Hynek and his wife, Deb, went in with the Corbins and three other couples to buy their perfect tailgate spot.

“I like it because it’s just a place to go on game days,” Bob Hynek says, noting that while friends and neighbors may have other tailgates to go to before or after, the Journal Star lot is a place where “everyone can stop by.”

Between the pulled pork, the beer, and the friendship, Hynek thinks this tailgate will thrive for the foreseeable future – in large part because it’s not too fancy.

“The best part is that we don’t really try to do anything special,” Hynek says. “It’s more of just people getting together. That’s what game day is about.”

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