PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh tradition may be staring at extinction.

Tailgating before Steelers and Pirates games has been significantly reduced over the past 10 years. Now, a new plan could further hasten the end of tailgating as we know it.

It is the image most associated with Pittsburgh’s North Shore, but it may well become as much a memory as Three Rivers Stadium.

“As surface parking diminishes there will be less tailgating there is no question about it,” said Merrill Stabile, the president and CEO of ALCO Parking.

Two hotels, two office buildings and Stage AE have all wiped out tailgating spaces, and now the folks at Continental Development are focusing on the side of Lot 2 across from the Del Monte Building.

“We are talking about restaurants, bars with an entertainment side to them and feeding off Stage AE, feeding off the entertainment district that’s created by not only Stage AE, but also Heinz Field and PNC Park,” said Michael Hudak, of Continental Development.

Discussions for this latest project come on the heels of Damon’s restaurant signing on to fill the space next to Jerome Bettis Grille 36 restaurant.

Also, with Stage AE now keeping the North Shore hopping, Continental believes North Shore Drive could become a viable entertainment destination, but the building would wipe out a lot of surface parking.

“We’re looking at structured parking as the solution,” said Hudak.

Continental says the plan calls for a new parking garage on the General Robinson side of Lot 2.

“That obligation is of the SEA,” Hudak said. “So, the SEA would actually build that parking garage. Financing for that garage is under investigation.”

“I don’t think the city, county or the state are in any kind of a position to subsidize any further development on the North Shore,” added Stabile. “I think that if it happens it should be done all with private money.”

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