The League

Peter Schaffer
NFL Agent

Peter Schaffer

Agent and professor of sports law

TailgatingGate

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Holy RV Batman! The Redskins have imposed restrictions on pre-game tailgating at Fed Ex Stadium. Stop the presses!

When this issue came up, my inclination was to dig into the rules using my Woodward and Bernstein type of journalism and then bash the Redskins and other similarly restrictive NFL teams as being fun adverse. However, after much deliberation, discussion and reading, the reality is that tailgating restrictions imposed by the Redskins and other NFL teams such as the Cowboys are much ado about nothing. Certainly, in Washington DC nowadays the people have much bigger and more important pressing issues to worry about than where they park their RV's prior to a game and drink and eat. While enjoyment at NFL games is always a premium and the fans should receive maximum enjoyment on their fall Sundays, passing rules to efficiently park cars seems quite fair and reasonable.

The teams, at the end of the day, are in the business of making money. They re not in the business of alienating any of their paying ticket holders. They have a constituency of 75,000 paying fans every other Sunday and always need to balance the enjoyment of all fans every game, the tailgaters and non-tailgaters, the loud and the quiet, the Democrats and the Republicans. The idea of requiring early arriving tailgaters to park in a marked area to achieve more efficient parking lot operation seems to be a necessary objective of any team. As Howard Cosell would say "their grasp of the obvious is uncanny!"

The only problem is that they had to pass or make rules concerning this issue in the first place. Do we really need to legislate tailgating? One would hope that teams and their fans could find ways to make all on both sides of this burning controversy happy without alienating anyone.

If fans really have a problem with pre-game location and space then the best way for them to complain is with their wallets and their keyboards. Nothing is stopping a fan or group of fans from calling their local teams and making them offers for specific parking spaces for each-game or being otherwise similarly creative. At the end of the day, the teams will be motivated by the business of football and fans should act accordingly.

By Peter Schaffer  |  June 24, 2009; 6:49 AM ET  | Category:  Peter Schaffer , Roger Goodell , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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