A review of guidelines at several stadiums found that other NFL teams are moving their tailgaters farther away from stadiums or instituting stricter rules.
In Chicago, the Bears prohibit fans without tickets from being in stadium parking lots during the game. According to newspaper reports, that was done to discourage drunkenness and troublemakers.
Like the Cowboys, the Washington Redskins also announced they were moving tailgaters to the back of some of their lots.
Hans Steiniger, a Detroit resident who is documenting his tour of every NFL stadium at his Quest for 31 Web site, said tailgating is much less of a free-for-all than it once was. Teams and the league seem to be much more concerned about fire safety, security and cutting down on drunkenness.
Brett Daniels, a Cowboys spokesman, said the rule changes that started last year were designed to benefit everyone going to the games. He said locating the tailgaters at the edge of the parking lots gives them a grassy, landscaped setting for their parties and also separates them from the rest of the traffic.
Grassy knolls in Dallas aside, the NFL seems to generally be taking the policies that earned it the nickname of “No Fun League” outside of the stadium and into the unwashed masses — who either must be controlled or moneytized.
We’re quite familiar with that here at NC State, where tailgating came under restriction after two thugs cruised through the parking lots outside of Carter-Finley before a game, looking for trouble, where they found it — with people who weren’t even there to attend a football game. A fight, then gunfire and tragedy resulted. The incident became known as the “Tailgating Murders” even though the random crime had little to do with NC State football and its fans, instead, it was a horrible mix of people looking for a good time with ne’er-do-well drug dealers looking for a fight.
Answers were demanded in the aftermath, and committees and study panels formed with elite University bureaucrats were convened, all with little input from students, the Wolfpack Club or season ticket holders. On top of that, UNC raconteur Bob Lee Swagger labeled the student parking areas as “F-Bomb Alley” thanks to their verbal mistreatment of visiting fans — which the University wisely located adjacent to the area widely used by students for parking. “Something had to be done,” and as a result, the university instituted a Punish-The-Innocent program that “enhanced” security by limiting everyone. Instead of enforcing laws or rules already on the books, or increasing the number of police and security officials patrolling the crowds, programs like “WITH” were enacted along with other restrictions, most notably in the hours that one can spend tailgating.
While many folks don’t tailgate for more than five hours outside of a college football game, many like to do exactly that in order to have ample time to prepare elaborate meals like a pig-picking with all the fixin’s. Folks like that are not there to cause a fight, or even to drink to excess, they are only there to celebrate NC State’s playing a football game with all of their friends. Now it looks like NC State was simply ahead of the curve and that other facilities and sports teams are doing the same.