CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Bengals fans are allowed to tailgate in the parking lots outside Paul Brown Stadium before, during and after games. But that could change.
The National Football League has recommended that teams prohibit tailgating after kickoff, meaning fans who don’t have tickets to the game, will need to vacate tailgating lots after the game starts.
A team spokesperson said the Bengals are aware of the NFL’s recommendation but have no immediate plans to implement it.
The Bengals wrap up the preseason schedule on Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium.
At least one NFL team is moving forward with the tailgating ban.
Kansas City Chiefs president Mark Donovan said this week that the team plans to follow the league’s best-practice proposal but will do so with a tailored approach.
“From a safety and security standpoint, we don’t necessarily want people in the parking lot just sitting out there all day,” Donovan explained to our partners at KSHB-TV. “If you’re out there taking up a spot or if you’re out there in some traffic and you’re not going to the game, that’s impacting the person who is going to the game.”
Five years ago, a Chiefs fan was assaulted and later died of his injuries in the parking lot outside Arrowhead Stadium after he mistakenly entered someone else’s vehicle after exiting the stadium after the first quarter.
According to KSHB, a wrongful death suit filed by the man’s family which was settled in June stated in part that tailgating by fans who may or may not have tickets to the game “fosters an environment in which confrontation, assaults and other related behaviors routinely take place”.
Safety and security apparently are the NFL’s primary motivations for the ban but league officials did not immediately respond to inquiries from WCPO.com on Thursday.
Chiefs fans took to social media this week and were mostly critical of the new policy, some saying the team is denying those who might not be able to afford tickets from enjoying the game-day experience in the tailgating lots.
The Kansas City Royals ask that fans clear the tailgating lots by the second inning.
The San Francisco 49ers banned tailgating after kickoff in 2011 after violence marred a game against the rival Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park. That ban remains in effect in Levi’s Stadium which opened in 2014.
WCPO also reached out to the University of Cincinnati to find out its policy on tailgating after kick-off. Ryan Koslen, associate AD, said the university shuts down tailgating and programming events 30 minutes prior to kickoff. UC also encourages fans to go inside the stadium, but there is no police run-through to force people to go inside.