Tim Benz: Kansas City nixes tailgating after kickoff

September 27, 2018

For a league that’s worrying about an attendance problem in some cities, I’m not sure this is the best way to go.

The NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs got some attention this week for implementing a new protocol. They are going to start booting people out of the parking lots shortly after the games begin.

In other words, no more tailgating after kickoff.

According to the team, they are following an “NFL best practice recommendation.”

It seems like an odd time for the NFL to encourage these measures given that many cities are having a harder time than normal attracting people into the stadiums instead of watching the games at home. For those that may be inclined to go and party with their friends who are tailgating in the lots, this is all the less reason to go.

For those that tailgate to be with those who attend the games, it’s all the less reason for them to go, buy team-issued gear, pay for parking, and maybe pick up tickets that are being sold on the secondary market.

For business, one would think that, in general, it’s better to have people closer to the stadium than not if you want to lure people to the stadium in the future. Those who are encouraged to leave may stay at home next week.

Then again, if crowded lots, traffic, and alcohol-fueled shenanigans have turned people off from going, maybe thinning the herd on game day will pay dividends.

In June, the Chiefs settled a lawsuit over a beating death that occurred in a lot outside of their stadium during a 2013 game.

As far as the Steelers go, I asked their media relations department about the issue last night. They were aware of the development and the quote from Chiefs president Mark Donovan about the “best practice recommendation.” I was told that since the franchise doesn’t own or control the lots — ALCO does — they aren’t commenting on the matter.

So, we’ll inquire with them before the season starts.

Back in 2016, a policy was enacted to clear the North Shore lots during the Kenny Chesney concert after the show began.

And Steelers fans aren’t quite as notorious as the Chesney fans ... are they?

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TimBenzPGH.

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