August 22/Palatine, Ill./PRNewswire -- According to the 24th annual Weber GrillWatch Survey, the top three must-have items among grill owners for a proper tailgating party are a grill (82%), food (80%) and a cooler (80%). Chairs (76%) and alcoholic beverages (66%) round out the top five. Just half of grill owners (50%) consider tickets to the game a must-have item.

The grill of choice among tailgaters is a portable model (65%) versus 29% who opt to bring full-size models to their tailgate parties.

Overall, grilling away from home has increased in popularity over the past two years, with tailgate parties ranking as the fourth most popular location to grill away from home (22%). Camping is ranked as the top spot (44%), followed by the park (37%) and the beach (23%).

Nearly one-half (48%) of grill owners report they place their grill on the ground when tailgating or grilling away from home in general; approximately one-third (32%) of those surveyed bring a table to use as a grill stand, and 17% use their truck beds.

Other Tailgating Trends from the 24th annual Weber GrillWatch Survey:

  • 20% of U.S. grill owners have attended a tailgate party during the past 12 months, up from 14% last year.
  • 67% of grill owners who tailgate say that grilling is always a part of their tailgating activities.
  • The top five foods to grill when tailgating are hamburgers (71%), hot dogs (47%), brats (40%), chicken (29%) and steak (25%).
  • On average, grill owners spend a hefty $122 for food and drinks at a tailgating party.
  • Attending the game is secondary to many tailgaters, with 57% revealing they have attended a tailgate in the past 12 months without going into the game. This number jumped 13% from last year.