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Tailgate-gate settled?

Jun 22, 2009, 2:37 PM EST

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It appears that those who were concerned that a new Redskins policy dealing with tailgating prior to games at FedEx Field have little to worry about.

The relevant portion of the press release that came from Redskins PR a short time ago is below. It appears that the only people who might get their feathers ruffled are those who have been conducting full-bore tailgating with tents, grill, and tables in the middle of a given parking lot. They will need to move to the fringes of the lot in order to allow people who just want to park and walk into the game will have more convenient spaces.

It could lead to a great atmosphere, actually, with all of the activity focused in one area in each lot instead of being spread around.

I fully expect the execution of this to be completely botched during the first few home games with plenty of angry tailgaters being told to move from the spot where they’ve been since the stadium opened. I’m not sure how they’re going to segregate the tailgaters from the non-tailgaters from the single-space tailgaters as they come into the stadium without causing horrendous traffic problems. Maybe they should ask those who will want to park in the tailgating area to take a Sharpie and put a big “T” on their parking passes to help the attendants. But it should all work out eventually.

From Redskins PR:

The most significant new procedure will have parking attendants directing fans who wish to tailgate in more than one space to the back of lots, where they will be allowed to occupy two spaces until required for additional vehicles. Fans who wish to only park, or tailgate within their single parking spot, will be directed to the front of lots, filling the lot from front to back. Tailgating is permitted in all lots, except Platinum. Platinum lot parkers who choose to tailgate will be provided passes for Purple lots.

“Everyone who wants to tailgate should be able to tailgate. We absolutely believe that,” Gershman said. “This is designed to improve
the experience for fans who want to tailgate.”

“Our outside consultant analyzed the flow on roads and in the parking lots at FedEx Field, with cameras recording the traffic patterns. What we found was that when tailgaters spread into multiple spaces, it caused congestion in the lots, and resulted in inconvenience to everyone – the fans tailgating and the fans who were just looking to park in their assigned lots,” Gershman said.

The team will no longer maintain game-day, cash parking lots since there are numerous private operators in the stadium vicinity providing the service.

During post-game congestion periods, cars exiting lots will be directed to dedicated traffic lanes, a procedure that has been in effect for pre-game traffic for several years. The team is also in discussions with Prince George’s County officials on the possibility of making traffic one-way leading to the Beltway during peak post-game congestion around the stadium, amongst other changes that can improve the game day experience.

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