Late last week, New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority president Wayne Hasenbalg said there would be no tailgating at MetLife Stadium prior to Super Bowl XLVIII. And not just that, but he promised that the entire complex would be on "lock down" for a variety of reasons.
“There is no chance that people who do not have credentials will be able to access the entirety of the Meadowlands Sports Complex on the week of the game,” Hasenbalg said. “Everyone coming onto the site will have to have a credential with ID, and all deliveries will be sent to a certain location for screening."
"I'm sure there will be a fair amount of tailgating going on," Goodell told The Star-Ledger on Friday.
But hold your horses, fans. Don't get overly excited and praise Goodell just yet. While he did indicate fans would be able to tailgate, the NFL Commissioner was very vague in what would be allowed — which happens to be a very water-down and loose interpretation of what tailgating actually is.
Yes, fans with parking passes — and only fans with parking passes — will be able to access the parking lots. And yes, said fans will be allowed to tailgate … kind of.
Fans with parking passes will be allowed to bring coolers, food and drinks, but they will not be allowed to bring grills, games or anything that exceeds the occupancy of a single parking spot. In other words, fans are allowed the 3-4 inches on either side of their vehicle to place a cooler and, perhaps, a small chair.
“There are a lot of things you’re balancing at an event like this. One is that you use a lot of the parking lots for events also, particularly areas that have to be climatized because of the weather. That’s always a challenge for us at Super Bowls. Then obviously you have security issues, which you have to manage properly to make sure you keep fans safe," Goodell said.
To sum things up: there is no real tailgating allowed and no fun to be had in the parking lot the day of the game. Ultimately, the one thing New York/New Jersey fans are the absolute best at has been outlawed in the name of safety (aka: the almighty dollar).
Let's all hope and pray for 12+ inches of snow, blistering winds and freezing cold temperatures to cause NFL personnel as much anguish as they've caused fans by essentially outlawing the main non-game attraction.
Shame on you, NFL.
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