The Kansas City Chiefs have implemented a new tailgate policy that will affect many loyal tailgaters on game days.
The new rules will be enforced after a game has begun; fans who remain in the parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium after kickoff will be asked to either move into the stadium if they have tickets or pack their things and leave the property if they do not.
The new policy was first reported by Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star.
Chiefs President Mark Donovan said the team is following a new league-wide best practice recommendation and will phase in this policy for all 8 home games during the 2018 NFL season.
“The big reason is safety and security,” said Donovan per Kerkhoff.
“We’re going to continue celebrating tailgating,” Donovan said. “It’s important to Arrowhead and important to the fan experience and we’re going to transition into this. This is not going to be a hard stop.”
Fans have not reacted well since the move was first reported, but the Chiefs hope the new policy will reduce situations similar to five years ago when Kyle Van Winkle was brutally beaten to death in the parking lot during a game back in 2013.
Van Winkle allegedly felt ill while tailgating and proceeded back to his vehicle to sleep it off but made the mistake of falling asleep in someone else’s vehicle. When the owner came back to find Van Winkle inside, he was mistaken for a thief and an altercation broke out leading Van Winkle’s demise.
Following the devastating aftermath of violence and drunkenness, the Chiefs are putting the safety of the kingdom first in their new policy and furthermore, hope that fans will understand despite the inconvenience.
Tailgating has been a tradition that has been a staple the Chiefs have been known for, many fans would gather in the parking lot to listen or watch the game from outside the stadium. This will no longer be an option.
You can read more about the new policy here.
How do you feel about the team’s new tailgating policy? Post your opinion in the comments below.