djr-2017-09-03-news-state-featurep4

Matthew Hemphill of Brandon checks on his burgers as he tailgates with his family in the Junction in Starkville prior to kickoff of a Mississippi State football game. Starkville and Oxford both rank high in a national survey of cheapest towns for tailgating.

When it comes to cheapest towns to tailgate in, both Starkville and Oxford make the top ten, according to a recent study by Rent.com.

The 2019 ranking looks at 57 cities representing 65 Power Five schools. The website said that for the article, they ranked each metropolitan area home to an NCAA Football Series.

Schools were ranked on a scale of one to 57, with one being cheapest and 57 most expensive, according to the price per pound of steak, ground beef, sausage and chicken used in Rent.com’s ranking, alongside the cost of a 10 ounce bag of plain regular potato chips, 2-liter Coca-Cola, Heineken’s 6-pack beer and 1.5 liter bottle of wine.

In the state competition for best affordable tailgate, Oxford – home of the University of Mississippi – comes out ahead. It is tied fourth with Austin, Texas, site of the University of Texas, with a tailgating score of 12.25. Among top five item-by-item rankings are ground beef, 5, chicken, 4, and wine, 3. Rent.com said:

“Expect plenty of the usual tailgate suspects, as well, from racks of ribs to Red Rose smoked sausages, all reasonably priced with groceries from nearby Memphis, the fifth most affordable city in the Power Five conferences ... And for a chance to experience the best tailgate in the nation all season long, just $999 a month will snag you an average one-bedroom apartment in Oxford.”

Starkville – home of Mississippi State University – is ranked sixth on the list with a total tailgating score of 12.375. The cheapest item rankings include chicken, ranked 3rd, and both Coca-Cola and ground beef ranked 4th. To explain their ranking, Rent.com said:

“At stores in nearby Tupelo, steak, ground beef and chicken land among the top 10 lowest prices for any city in college football, the perfect proteins to get smothered in your mama’s secret comeback sauce recipe. After the game, make a spot on your shelf for your own cowbell in a Starkville one-bedroom apartment that will run you an average of $916 a month.”

The rankings are determined using the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Quarter 2 2019 Cost of Living report.

When it came to choosing the cheapest college towns for tailgating, Rent.com looked at the C2ER urban area closest to the town. That is the reason some rankings, such as Waco, Texas, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia, feature more than one school for each area.

Ole Miss’s closest listed C2ER urban area is Memphis, while Mississippi State’s is Tupelo.

The full rankings can be found on Rent.com’s website.

danny.mcarthur@journalinc.com

Twitter: @Danny_McArthur_

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