The former Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheater sits squarely on Route 18 in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. Less than 30 miles west of the city of Pittsburgh, the 23,000 seats outdoor venue hosts big-name musical acts and other crowd-worthy events. Now known as KeyBank Pavilion, the open-air venue is a great place at which to host a tailgate party. In fact, tailgate parties at the LiveNation sponsored KeyBank Pavilion are quite popular with Pennsylvanians and visitors alike.
If you think that tailgates at KeyBank Pavilion are a whole lot of fun, you're correct. The KeyBank venue has hosted some remarkable musical acts, including Metallica, the Grateful Dead, Farm Aid, Dave Matthews Band, Billy Joel and Phish. The final live concert performed by the original members of the Australian band, INXS, happened here in 1997, just a few weeks before the sudden demise of lead singer, Michael Hutchence. In 2004, the pavilion was visited by then-president George W. Bush. Today, tailgates at KeyBank Pavilion are some of the best reasons to visit the revered venue.
A brief history of the tailgating tradition
In The Browns Fan's Tailgating Guide, author Peter Chakerian offers three plausible explanations about how and when the tailgate party came into being. Theory number one poses the possibility that the precursor to tailgates at KeyBank Pavilion occurred before the first college football match between Princeton and Rutgers universities. As this event happened in the fall of 1869, truck tailgates had not been invented yet. As the theory goes, fans of both teams feasted on grilled sausages at the “tail end” of a horse. Probably not true, but it is a fun idea, notes The Mile High Report.
Theory number two involves a train and hungry Yale football fans. As the story goes, famished fans brought picnic baskets and beverages in which to partake on their train ride to a game and thus was born the ancestor of tailgates at KeyBank Pavilion.
The third theory proposed by Chakerian says that the term "tailgating" was coined during the Green Bay Packers first year playing ball back in 1919. At that time, football fans backed their pickup trucks around the perimeter of the field and folded down their tailgates to provide seating.
National Geographic magazine has yet another theory as to the origins of tailgate parties. According to the publication, tailgates at KeyBank Pavilion originated with autumn harvest festivals. The magazine also noted that upwards of 35 percent of all tailgate party participants never go inside the stadium to watch the game.
When you think about it, it doesn't make a whit of difference how, exactly, the tailgate party came into being. Today, you and your sports fan friends can hire a spacious party bus to take you to the game and then take you home again afterward. When you're ready to know more about how to hire a party bus in Pittsburgh, please call (412)587-2081 and ask about tailgating at KeyBank Pavilion.Tailgates Keybank Pavilion
View Larger Map