Chiefs implement new tailgating policy prohibiting fans from staying in parking lot during game

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A recent decision by the Chiefs to ban tailgating after kickoff has brought both support and criticism from fans of the team.

Starting this season, fans with tickets to a game will be required to move inside to Arrowhead Stadium by kickoff while fans without tickets will be forced to leave the parking lot.

In a press conference last Friday, Chiefs President Mark Donovan said the move would help make things safer at games.

“From a safety and security standpoint, we don’t necessarily want people in the parking lot just sitting out there all day,” he explained. “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.”

The decision by the team led to numerous social media posts by fans.

On Tuesday, longtime fan Brett Chenoweth said the move unfairly targeted people who simply want to tailgate.

“A lot of them just want to hang out,” he explained. “They don’t have the money to spend on a ticket when you can just get into the parking lot and have the same experience of being there.”

Logan Free, Chenoweth’s friend, agreed and said fans should be able to choose what they do in the parking lot.

“If someone wanted to go up and tailgate and that’s all they wanted to do, they should have the right to do that,” he said. “That’s what Kansas City is. It’s tailgating outside Chiefs games and Royals games.”

Plenty of other fans supported the decision.

Terrence McGowan, who told 41 Action News he has been a Chiefs fan for most of his life, said the new rules would improve the experience of going to a game.

“We have to do what’s right for our city. We have to represent our city right. I don’t see a problem with it,” he said. “A lot of people drink. They’re having a good time. Some people can’t control when they’re having a good time. It’s a fine thin line. You have kids. You have disabled people. Anything can happen.” 

Moving forward, the team said the change would gradually go into effect for home games.

The Royals have a similar policy which requires the parking lots to be cleared of tailgating by the second inning.

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