Game Weekend in Baton Rouge: LSU vs. Arkansas

It was after midnight by the time I arrived at the DoubleTree Baton Rouge so I grabbed my room keys and headed straight to bed. Friday was packed full of meetings and I wrapped up my day around 4:30p. From there, I headed over to the bar at The Cook Hotel on campus to visit with some old friends. My Arkansas buddy arrived in town just after 5:00p and he picked me up and we headed off to dinner.

We managed to grab a reservation at Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine, a great seafood place a short drive from our hotel. The food was fantastic and we took a tour of the menu, absolutely stuffing ourselves on some delicious Louisiana seafood.

a white car parked in front of a store
a bowl of food on a table
a plate of food on a table
a plate of sushi on a table

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to meet one of our Austin based friends who made the drive to Baton Rouge after work. After dropping his bags in the room, we grabbed an Uber over to Tigerland, the LSU bar district, and headed for my old stomping ground called Fred’s. The Friday before LSU games, the bar offers free drinks from 7-9p for a $20 cover charge.

As much fun as it is to go back and visit bars from my time in college, Fred’s was just a pit stop before we headed on down the road to L’Auberge Casino. We spent a few hours gambling and, after losing what felt like a small fortune at blackjack, headed back to the hotel.

a woman standing in a lobby
a large building with many people

I woke up bright and early on Saturday because it was gameday in Baton Rouge! I love college football and always get excited to go see the Tigers play. After getting the rest of the crew up, we hopped in an Uber and headed over to the north gates of campus and The Chimes Restaurant and Tap Room. Traffic was already backed up on Dalrymple Drive heading into campus. I can only imagine this’ll get worse as they start construction on I-10 through town.

Traffic on Dalrymple Drive heading towards the LSU Campus

We got dropped off near The Chimes and headed inside only to find a wall of people. Even though kickoff wasn’t until 7:00p, there was already a two hour wait at noon. We called an audible and headed next door to The Revelry where I ran into a few old friends from college.

The Chimes Restaurant and Tap Room Exterior

We spent an hour at The Revelry before heading into campus to meet some friends at their tailgate. I’ve been to plenty of college football games in my life but nobody holds a candle to the tailgate scene at LSU. We made our way through campus and over towards the Indian Mounds where the tailgate was located.

a sign on a building
a street with people standing in front of a building

We made it to the tailgate where the pigs were roasting and the drinks were flowing. The hours flew by as we partied and prepared for the game.

a pig in a grill
a group of people standing in front of a building

A couple of hours before kickoff, the pregame festivities started. First came the Golden Band from Tigerland, accompanied by the Golden Girls.

a group of people in a parade
a group of people in marching band

Once the band passed, the football team arrived on a trio of charter buses to begin the march down victory hill towards the stadium.

a black bus parked on the side of a road
a group of people walking next to a bus

After the team and band cleared, we also started our way down the hill towards the stadium. The weather was amazing and even Mike was out and about enjoying the day.

a large building with a sign on top
a tiger behind a fence

Our seats for the game were located in the South end zone however, a friend had some extra tickets in the student section so we decided to watch the first part of the game there. The student section is always a rowdy, good time and today was no different. Don’t even think about sitting down if you have seats here.

a stadium full of people
a large crowd of people in a stadium

After the first quarter we decided to relocate to our seats in the south end zone. The student section was fun, but I’m getting old and wanted to trade the drunk 20-somethings throwing beer and bleachers for some padded seats and no lines.

Tiger Stadium as seen from the South End zone

Day turned to night but unfortunately neither team was able to get any separation from the other. The Tigers were playing lights out on offense but the defense couldn’t seem to get anything going. Ultimately, it took a last second field goal for the Tigers to prevail over Arkansas 30-27.

After the game, we headed back over to The Chimes and grabbed a few beers on the rooftop deck. My travel buddies wanted to head back to the casino but, since I had an early flight, I headed back to the hotel to pack and get some sleep.

Varsity Theatre Baton Rouge SIgn

Summary

This trip, while short, was another great visit to my old stomping grounds and alma mater. The game was ugly but the Tigers managed to pull off a win and I had the chance to visit with a lot of old friends. I’ll be back next year for another game at the very least!

In This Trip Report

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