Your Game Day Guide To Stanford Home Football Games

Written By Adam Hensley on September 7, 2023 - Last Updated on September 13, 2023
Your game day guide for attending Stanford Cardinal home games this season

For more than 100 years, the Stanford football program has called Stanford Stadium home in California. Boasting a team with such a rich history, it’s one of the most historic venues in the Pac-12 Conference to watch a football game.

Should you plan on attending a Cardinal game this season, PlayCA has you covered.

Unfortunately for residents, sports betting in California isn’t legal just yet. However, that shouldn’t discourage fans from gearing up for the home-opener just around the corner.

This comprehensive guide covers everything fans need to know about attending football games at Stanford Stadium.

Getting to Stanford Stadium

Stanford Stadium is located at 625 Nelson Road in Stanford.

You can reach the different parking lots in a number of ways.

Lot 4/IM South

Travel on El Camino Real south of Embarcadero Road. You’ll want to be in the right-hand lane because you’ll turn right into the entrance for Lot 4/IM South.

Lot 8/Arboretum Grove

Fans will want to head west on Galvez Street after turning off El Camino Real. Stay in the right-hand lane and eventually you’ll come up on the entrance to Lot 8/Arboretum Grove, which is at the intersection of Aboretum Road and Lasuen Street.

Fans may also get here from El Camino Real. If you take that road south past Palm Drive, it will eventually be on your right.

Lot 9/Lasuen Grove

Stanford faithful wanting to park here will need to head west on Palm Drive after getting off El Camino Real. They should stay on the road until they hit Campus Drive East, then turn left onto Campus Drive. Stay in the left-hand lane and eventually turn left onto Lasuen Street. Stick in the left-hand lane and you’ll be able to turn left into Lot 9/Lasuen Grove.

You can also get to Lot 9/Lasuen Grove if you go west on Galvez Street. You’ll want to take Galvez Street until you hit the stop sign on Campus Drive. Take that right onto Campus Drive and take a right on Lasuen Street. From there, the lots are a left-hand turn away.

Public transportation options

Don’t want to drive yourself to Stanford Stadium for a game? No problem. Public transportation is available for fans on game days. Here are some options:

  • BART
  • Caltrain
  • Marguerite Shuttle Service
  • SamTrans
  • Bicycle (Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition will guard your bike during Stanford football games)
  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

Parking at Stanford Stadium

There are two options when it comes to selecting your parking at Stanford Stadium: Cardinal Lot Parking Pass and General Lots.

The Cardinal Lot Parking Pass is for season ticket-holders. If you are a season ticket-holder with this pass, you’ll have access to Lots 3, 7 and 10. These lots are strictly for Cardinal Lot Parking Pass customers only.

Stanford’s website recommends that season ticket-holders purchase their Cardinal Lot Parking Passes during the time of their ticket renewal, as most lots that are reserved will sell out.

For non-season ticket-holders or those who wish to just purchase a General Lot pass, you’ll be able to park at Lots 4, 8, 9 and 13. General Lot passes can be purchased on an individual game basis and run $25 each.

Parking passes for lots 4, 8, 9 and 13 can be purchased the day of games. Fans can pay using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay at those lots. Cash is not accepted.

General Lot parking is first come, first served. There is no way to guarantee a specific lot of the four. However, when you have the Cardinal Lot Parking Pass, you’ll have access to a specific lot. It is possible for Cardinal Lot Parking Pass customers to park in the General Lot spots, too.

RV parking

Much like parking in the general lots, RV parking is on a first come, first served basis for day-of-game parking. RVs can park at lots 7 and 10 with the purchase of a Cardinal Lot Parking Pass. RVs can also park in lots 8 and 9 with the purchase of a General Lot Parking Pass.

Overnight parking is available. RVs can use Lot 2/El Camino Grove as an overnight parking spot. It opens at 3 p.m. two days before the kickoff of a home game each week.

ADA-accessible parking

Stanford Stadium offers ADA-accessible parking for fans. It is located at the Sunken Diamond Lot. Fans with season ticket parking passes, a valid Stanford student ID or who have paid a single-game parking fee can use this lot.

You will need a valid disabled parking placard to enter the lot.

Tailgating at Stanford Stadium

Yes, fans are allowed to tailgate at Stanford Stadium. Tailgating is permitted at any of the stadium’s designated parking lots.

All lots outside of the RV overnight parking lot open five hours prior to kickoff.

Group tailgating is available

Stanford and RevelXP partner to offer reserved tailgating packages for fans wanting to set up shop on Maloney Field and Avery Plaza. Stanford’s website says that RevelXP will provide tailgating groups with tents, tables, chairs, and coolers with ice, and will help coordinate food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Choosing your seats

Fans have plenty of options when it comes to choosing seats.

Sections 101-140 are all on the lower level; 201-240 is the upper level.

Worth noting: Sections 101, 111-125, 129-140, 206-220 and 229-240 are for reserved seating. Sections 201-205 and 221-225 are general admission. Visitor seating is available in sections 126, 128, 226, 227 and 228 in the north corner.

Which gate should fans use?

For those planning to sit in the student section, Gate 3 is strictly for student entry.

As a general rule of thumb, Stanford’s website says the best gate to use is the one closest to your seating section.

  • Gate 1: Sections 101-105, 201-205
  • Gate 2: Sections 106-108, 206-208
  • Gate 3: Student seating
  • Gate 4: Sections 111-114, 209-214
  • Gate 5: Sections 115-123, 215-223
  • Gate 10: Sections 124-129, 224-228
  • Gate 12: Sections 129-140, 229-240

ADA-accessible seating and assistive listening devices

All gates at Stanford Stadium are accessible for those who are unable to walk or need assistance.

There is wheelchair seating available in the stadium’s lower bowl and upper bowls. You can get to the lower bowl’s accessible seating through the tunnels. Upper bowl accessible seating can be reached by the elevator. Fans should use gates 4 or 5 for the quickest access.

Fans who are hard of hearing can use assistive listening devices. Those are located at the Guest Services Station, which is at the south end of the stadium on the main concourse. It’s near Section 104.

Finding the bathrooms

You don’t want to be scrambling to find a bathroom when you’ve got to go. This general rule applies to any situation, not just at a Stanford football game.

Restrooms are available across Stanford Stadium’s main concourse, upper level and skybox. Bathrooms are also located near gates 2 and 4. Family restrooms are by the South Guest Service Room behind Section 103.

Wheelchair-accessible restrooms for both men and women can be found on the main concourse by sections 106, 109, 117, 119, 122, 131 and 137. On the upper level, they are found near sections 230, 233, 236 and on the skybox level.

Best food at Stanford Stadium

Want traditional fan favorites, such as hot dogs, popcorn and pretzels? Stanford Stadium has you covered with a number of different stands within stadium grounds.

However, fans wanting something a little different have choices, too. Stanford Stadium offers boba tea, nachos, specialty burgers, ice cream sundaes, sushi, rice bowls, acai and pho.

Additionally, for those looking to chow down on some food before kickoff, Cardinal faithful can head over to the Stanford football Fan Fest. Admission into the area is free and opens 2 1/2 hours before kickoff on home games. Fan Fest is near the Hammer Throw Area between Cobb Track and Nelson Road. It’s right across from Gate 3.

Can you buy beer and wine at Stanford Stadium?

Yes, you can. But it’s not available for all fans.

Stanford’s venue is one that does offer alcoholic beverages at football events. However, beer and wine are not sold or allowed in the main seating bowl.

It is available, though, for those in the Stanford Stadium Skybox, Director’s Level, suites and Sky Deck.

Stanford Stadium bag policy

Like most venues across the country, Stanford Stadium has a clear bag policy. Bags must be clear and cannot be larger than 12 inches x 12 inches x 6 inches. One-gallon, re-sealable plastic baggies and small clutch purses (no larger than 4 1/2 inches x 6 1/2 inches) are allowed, too.

You’ll need to go through security upon entering the stadium. Stanford’s website says that you’ll need to remove all items from your pockets, including any bags, cellphones, keys, wallets, any sealed non-alcoholic drinks and metal objects as you pass through the metal detectors. You do not need to remove your belt, jacket, shoes, watch or jewelry as you pass through.

All fans and bags are subject to search.

Stanford does not allow certain items into games. Fans can be denied entry should they refuse to toss these items into receptacles at the gates.

Prohibited items include:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Illegal drugs
  • Animals, except for service animals
  • Bicycles, scooters, skateboards or skates
  • Any sort of container larger than 20 ounces
  • Coolers and backpacks larger than 12 inches x 12 inches x 15 inches
  • Horns or any sort of noisemakers
  • Laser pointers
  • Open umbrellas
  • Lawn chairs
  • Remote-controlled devices such as a drone
  • Strollers and portable chairs (ADA-compliant ones are OK)
  • Tobacco products
  • Weapons and fireworks

You cannot store any of the above items at guest services. It’s best to leave them at home.

Diaper bags are allowed inside stadium gates, however, they are subject to search. They are only allowed when the infant is present.

Additionally, those with medical devices that could set off medical detectors should contact security at the gate. Stanford’s website says that the security is trained to help with an alternative screening method. Wheelchairs do not need to pass through the walk-through medical detectors but will be screened with an alternative method.

How much does it cost to see a Stanford football game at Stanford Stadium?

Ticket prices vary depending on what game you’d like to attend. Your seating preference will affect the prices as well, depending on where you’d like to sit. In theory, you’ll pay more for seats closer to the action and for games with big implications or those that feature a rival.

According to TicketSmarter, the average cost to attend a live event in Stanford Stadium is $118.71. However, most tickets start around $7.

Seats higher up within Stanford Stadium are going to be fans’ cheapest options for gamedays. For example, tickets to Stanford’s home opener against Sacramento State on Sept. 16 start at $7.

Here’s a look at a quick breakdown of the least it would cost for four people to attend a Cardinal football game at Stanford Stadium this season:

  • Tickets: $28 (four $7 tickets)
  • Parking: $25
  • Total: $53

This total does not include food or drinks.

Pay attention to the band and remember your first down chant

The Stanford band is synonymous with the football team for both good and bad reasons.

For starters, the band was on the field during the final play of Stanford’s 1982 game against California. The band thought the game was over, but it wasn’t. Cal scored on the last play, running through the band members standing on the field. The band’s lack of awareness led to the infamous “The band is on the field!” broadcast call.

Since then, the band has been a major form of in-game entertainment. The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band dubbed itself the “World’s Largest Rock and Roll Band” and puts on quite the show during football games. Sometimes, the band’s antics have gotten it in trouble, as it’s been suspended, denied entry to various stadiums and faces a number of disciplinary measures after various performances.

One tradition fans will take part in during the games is when the team gains a first down. Fans will put their hands in the air and point as they chat, “Oh, oh, oh, first down!”

Non-football watching activities at Stanford Stadium

The Rodin Sculpture Garden is a great option for fans looking for something a little more laid back. It’s open to the public 24 hours a day and every day of the week.

Sticking with the name garden, the Arizona Garden (known by many as the cactus garden) is just what the name implies. The garden boasts a variety of plant life, which is tended to by a group of volunteers once a month.

Looking to shop? The Stanford Shopping Center has you covered. Customers can check out shops such as Apple, Banana Republic, Cartier, Coach, Crate & Barrel, Gap, Kate Spade, Lids, Lululemon and others. There are a handful of food and drink choices, too, such as McDonalds, PF Chang’s and Starbucks.

Fan etiquette at Stanford Stadium

Stanford Athletics has a fan code of conduct in place to ensure fans of both the Cardinal and opponents have an enjoyable game day experience at the venue. Fans who break the code could be ejected from the game, lose their ticket privileges and even be arrested, depending on the scenario.

These activities are banned, among others, according to the code of conduct:

  • Any sort of actions that disrupt or interfere with the game (that includes entering the field of play)
  • Smoking and using e-tobacco products
  • Profanity or any offensive language
  • Throwing any items or liquids
  • Not displaying ticket when asked by staff
  • Reselling tickets at Stanford Stadium
  • Any violation of California or local law
  • Sneaking any prohibited items into the game
  • Fighting or any sort of threatening gestures
  • Intoxication
  • Sitting in someone else’s seat

If you see someone breaking any fan rules, you are encouraged to report them. Fan behavior can be reported to Stanford and venue employees by texting 650-200-CARD.

Choosing your Stanford uniform number

Looking for a Stanford football jersey to rock while watching the Cardinal take on their opponents this season? There’s no shortage of stellar players in program history.

Here’s a look at some of the best jersey numbers to wear, both past and present:

  • No. 5: Christian McCaffrey
  • No. 7: John Elway and Toby Gerhart
  • No. 12: Andrew Luck
  • No. 16: Jim Plunkett
  • No. 17: John Lynch
  • No. 23: David Bailey
  • No. 30: James Lofton
  • No. 40: Tobin Phillips
  • No. 84: Benjamin Yurosek

2023 Stanford Cardinal home football schedule

  • Sept. 16: Sacramento State
  • Sept. 23: Arizona
  • Sept. 30: Oregon
  • Oct. 21: UCLA
  • Oct. 28: Washington
  • Nov. 18: California
  • Nov. 25: Notre Dame
Photo by Josie Lepe/AP Photo
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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist with experience covering online sports betting and gambling across Catena Media. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network.

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