PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Tailgating at Pittsburgh Steelers’ games is a tradition that has steadily evolved over the years, but now the NFL is trying to empty out parking lots after kickoff.
And that is not sitting well with most Steelers’ fans.
The fans around Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City love their Chiefs as much as Steelers’ fans love the Black and Gold. Many come to party even though they don’t have tickets to the game.
But the Chiefs are about to put a limit on tailgating following the release of a new NFL Best Practice guideline.
“Their recommendation is to stop tailgating at kickoff, and they are really doing it from a safety and security standpoint,” said Mark Donovan, the Chiefs’ team president.
Meaning, the NFL is recommending that across the league, fans still in the parking lots after kickoff will be told to go into the game or leave.
“I don’t like that idea, that’s not our tradition,” said fan Marva Steele, of Sheraden.
It’s the same policy Heinz Field adopted for three concerts this year, but Steelers games are a different animal.
“We haven’t had problems, so we continue to just plan as we have done in the past,” said Ralph Reetz, ALCO’s parking manager.
The Steelers deferred comment to ALCO Parking, which runs the parking lots on the North Shore, and Reetz says all the stakeholders talked it over.
“We are all comfortable with the way we have it currently; and at the moment; we have no plans to change it,” he said.
KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:
So, of fans without tickets to the game, Reetz says, “The people are fine to stay.”
He says issues do occur and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
“We’ll have our police officers approach them and tell them to pack it up and leave, or go to the game,” Reetz said.
Fans say they just want to be free to continue a tried and true tradition.
“I think you should just let people be free around the stadium, it’s just a good atmosphere,” said Darren Moleton, a fan from Zelienople.
So, for now, the guideline remains a suggestion or recommendation from the NFL, and not an edict, which means fans can still hang out in the lots. However, it will continue to be under review.