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Jiffy Lube Live Bans Tailgating

Posted by Dave On May - 20 - 2011

Parking Lot StanchionsAnd the hits just keep on coming for tailgaters. Add Jiffy Lube Live, an outdoor concert amphitheater in suburban Prince William County, about 35 miles west of Washington, DC., to the list of venues tailgaters are no longer welcome. Yup, you guessed it. Management has decided to ban tents, portable grills and alcohol in the parking lots. On top of that, parking areas will only open one to two hours prior to the scheduled start of the concert.

NBC Washington: No More Tailgating Fun at Jiffy Lube Live

This is not a new phenomenon that the management of stadiums and concert venues have banned tailgating. Dodger Stadium is probably the most notable sports venue to ban tailgating while PNC Bank Arts Center only bans tailgating prior to concerts that tend to appeal to a younger audience. Jiffy Lube Live has always had a “no alcohol” policy for the parking lots but apparently in years past that policy has been overlooked. This year police will be taking a “zero tolerance” approach to alcohol consumption in the parking lots. Apparently grills and tents are the baby that was mixed in with the bathwater with this new approach.

Tickets for concerts this season will have “No Tailgating” stamped on them. On the Jiffy Lube Live Facebook Page an official cited that safety, and abiding by Virginia’s law banning public alcohol consumption, prompted the change. The statement said:

“The safety of the fans is of paramount importance and we have an ongoing commitment to work with the local police department on all shows to ensure a safe environment for all of our fans. As part of this commitment, it has been determined that it is in the best interest of the fans and their overall experience at the venue to not allow tailgating.”

Although the statement does not specifically mention alcohol by name as the main culprit for a non-safe environment, we all can pretty much assume that boozing before the shows was the issue at hand. So if alcohol is such a problem that causes an unsafe environment, you would assume that Live Nation, the owners of the venue, would refuse to sell alcohol inside the venue, right? Please feel free to take a moment to stop laughing before you read further.

This blatant hypocrisy by Live Nation by banning tailgating yet continuing to sell alcohol inside (at outrageously high prices no doubt) has caused an uproar on the jiffy Lube Live Facebook page. Posted on Wednesday, May 18th, the fan page said:

Hi guys,

We appreciate all of your feedback on the tailgating policy change and are reading every single comment. We empathize with those of you who are upset – we are music fans ourselves and know this change isn’t a perfect scenario. We work hard to provide a fun, friendly and safe environment at our venue and will continue to look for ways to improve the fan experience.

This elicited a rash of responses. In 18 hours of the post going up, only eight people “liked” the post. On the flip side, close to 200 people commented on it with the lion’s share of comments highly critical and downright nasty. Here are a few of the better ones.

Jason Edwards ‎said,

Improve the fan experience”. Yup, that’s exactly what you’re doing. LOL. NOBODY should buy ANYTHING once inside the venue, if you choose to attend a show.

This comment received 11 thumbs up.

From Julie Dey Maurer

The new tail gating policy should have been disclosed sooner than a week before the first concert!! Thank god I didn’t buy the mega tix. And not everyone gets loaded while tailgating. Some people actually enjoy just socializing before the concert or not wanting to sit in a bunch of traffic-which is what we are gonna have to do now!!! But at least you all got your $$$$, Right??????

18 People liked this comment

Elyse Granger comments

Let’s see…horrendous traffic, no tailgating, overpriced food and beverage–does this sound like a policy that enhances the fan experience? The folks at Wolftrap are enjoying the business you’ve managed to generate for them. And BTW, I’ve seen the food and beverage lines at your shows; you’re not hurting for sales. This is about greed. Shameful.

Shay Kemble writes

This policy is not fun, friendly, or safe! I will not be having fun sitting in my hot car for three hours while waiting in traffic, it’s not very friendly of you to force your patrons to buy your overpriced food and drink, and I don’t think anyone will be safe with the riot that this is going to cause!

Ryan White opines

B.S. Alert!…B.S. Alert! What is “safer” about having people drink prior to reaching their destination? Because that is exactly what this “policy” is going to do. People who drink are going to drink. If not when they get there, then prior to. Been to tons of concerts out there and have never seen any trouble come at the hands of tailgating. Never. This is nothing more than an attempt to capture more of the peoples money. End of story. What, does Dan Snyder own this venue as well?

And the complaints go on and on and on. I read all 188 comments that were posted as of press time and not one was in favor of this change. Many people admitted to only liking the Jiffy Lube Live Facebook page for the specific reason to post a comment documenting their outrage. They then promptly unliked the page after posting their comment.

Before you ask the question, yes, Jimmy Buffett has a scheduled tour date at Jiffy Lube Live on August 27, 2011. And yes, the Parrotthead message boards are on near meltdown over this.

With so much outrage to this sudden change in policy, a Boycott Jiffy Lube Live Tailgating Policy Facebook page has already sprung up. The boycott page has close to 6,000 fans already compared to the 4,500 Facebook users who are fans of the Jiffy Lube Live page.

We would encourage those who live in the Washington DC area to join the boycott of Jiffy Lube Live. If you have already purchased tickets to a scheduled event, try to get a refund. If refunds are not being issued, then attend the concert but DO NOT buy anything inside. No food, no alcohol, not even a t-shirt of the artist you paid to come see. Music acts make money off of the ticket sales but they also make a good chunk of change off of merchandise sold on the premises. If word gets back to the bands that they sold zero t-shirts and hats at Jiffy Lube Live, you can be sure their tour manager will be asking questions. And when those question come back with answers there was a coordinated boycott, do you think that band will schedule to come back to that particular venue again? I’m willing to bet Jimmy Buffett won’t be going back to Jiffy Lube Live in the future if the tailgating ban is not lifted.

It’s high time tailgaters act with some solidarity and purpose. If the Virginia law bans alcoholic beverages in public places, so be it. But enforcing a law on the books does not mean tents and grills need to be banned as well. If alcohol is truly the problem and the police are enforcing state law, then please only enforce the law. Tailgaters should not stand for this and should be calling and emailing state legislators and asking when did a BBQ grill or a pop-up tent in a parking lot become a dangerous item.

If the concert goers at Jiffy Lube Live take this lying down, then it gives other venues license to ban tailgating in the future. These policies and practices of vilifying tailgating as the culprit for all bad behavior at concerts and sporting events needs to stop.

$5 To Walk & Tailgate?

Posted by Dave On October - 5 - 2010

Cleveland Pit Pedestrian SignHere’s a question: Would you pay $5 to walk through a parking lot that used to be a city impound lot?

Before you scream “F#&% NO!” at your computer screen, consider this. That is exactly what is going on in Cleveland at a popular tailgating spot known locally as “the Pit”. The management company of this parking lot started charging people to walk into the lot to join friends who have already paid $30 to park. This management company is charging tailgaters arriving on foot a $5 fee. Are you serious? Parking lots now have cover charges?

Cleveland’s a Plum: A $5 pedestrian fee to tailgate for a browns game? Gimmie a break.
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cleveland to look into operator’s tailgate party $5 admission fees
Waiting For Next Year: Cleveland Lot Now Charging Pedestrian Tailgaters

If you chose not to read any of the above linked articles, let’s set the scene. We’ve already heard by now about the outrage Cleveland tailgaters had regarding the famed Muni lot charging $5 more this year and opening the lot three hours later than in years past.  A few weeks ago Cleveland tailgaters staged their own passive aggressive protest by showing up at the Muni Lot gates at the regular 4 am time. In fact, so many showed up before the gates opened that the traffic congestion forced Cleveland Police to open the gates at 6 am just to avoid traffic snarls and creating a completely gridlocked downtown area.

Now another parking lot east of the Browns’ stadium has decided that if the Muni Lot can squeeze more money out of tailgaters, why can’t they? Already charging $30 per vehicle was apparently not enough for Network Parking, the management company that runs “the Pit”. Network Parking instituted a policy that those tailgaters that arrived on foot and planned to join other tailgaters already parked, needed to pay $5 per person. Although many thought it was a joke, Network Parking attendants held hard and fast to their new rules. When pressed for answers by Channel 19 in Cleveland, Network Parking issued a statement that justified, in their eyes, the $5 charge for foot traffic. It stated in part,

“increased costs to maintain the lot along with additional expenses to cover liability issues related to tailgating cleanup and crowd control, such as off duty Cleveland Police officers, porta-johns, large dumpsters, clean up equipment and clean up personnel.”

Here is a follow up story that breaks the news that what the parking management company is doing is actually allowable and is not breaking any laws.

It’s absolutely unbelievable the greed, utter disrespect and disregard tailgaters are receiving these days. When did the memo go out telling everyone but me that tailgaters are this bottomless pit of cash? Is it our fierce loyalty to our teams that allows us to be taken advantage of this way? I’d be interested your thoughts.

You know who else would be interested in your thoughts? Joel Cole, President of Network Parking. I think he would love to hear from not only local Cleveland tailgaters but from any and all of you tailgaters from around the country that want to let them know that this type of treatment is unacceptable.

Feel free to call him at: (216) 736-7190 and I would encourage you to ask for him by name. If he is unavailable, make sure to leave a voicemail giving him a piece of your mind. After you have done that, feel free to follow that up with an email that will go directly into his inbox. Please email him at: [email protected]. Also feel free to CC Bonnie Brodnik, Vice President Marketing & Administration ([email protected]) and Phil Soeder, Controller ([email protected]) on your email as well.

It’s about time we as tailgating nation stand up and take a stand on abuse and mistreatment. You may not tailgate in “the Pit” or you may not even tailgate prior to Browns games. But be careful of being apathetic and inactive now. If you are, please don’t complain when some outrageous policy and rule change affects you and your tailgating crew.

Mailbag: Beer Pong Table Missing Decal

Posted by Dave On September - 27 - 2010

It’s been a year now since the NFL started selling officially licensed beer pong tables. Oh sure, they call them “Tailgating Tables” but we all are smart enough to see through that load of crap. If you are new here and want to be brought up to speed on this ongoing controversy and hypocrisy, you can read previous posts we have done on this matter, click HERE, HERE and HERE.

I had known for quite some time that the NFL was going to somehow dodge the “Are you selling beer pong tables with your logo and team franchise logos on it?” question. They dodge any backlash by not selling the tables with the logos actually stuck on the tables. They would sell you the tables that had a football field design on them and then the stickers were then included with the table on a separate sheet. It was up to the consumer to place the decals on the beer pong, er, I mean, tailgating table. That way the NFL was not selling beer pong tables with their teams’ logos. Kind of a chicken way out of it but I guess their high priced lawyers said that would be the best way.

Now comes an email from Kevin, a reader of TailgatingIdeas.com. He recently purchased an NFL Beer Pong Table, NFL Tailgating Table, and it arrived the other day. He decided to snap a few photos of the sticker pack that came with his table and fired off this email to us:

Hey Dave – thought this was interesting. I finally got my “tailgate pong” table. It comes with a sticker sheet for the team you ordered – 2 end zone stickers and 2 mid field stickers. And very interestingly – a blank spot with a missing sticker that says “logo”. Hmmm, what logo could they be talking about? Maybe the logo of a certain over-protective sports league that didn’t want their logo all over a beer pong, er…I mean tailgate pong table??

-Kevin

(Click images for larger, more detailed view)


Kevin brings up a fantastic point. If this table is really and truly a tailgating table to place your buffet spread on or to use as a table tennis table, why would the NFL shield decal be mysteriously missing? You would think that activities as wholesome and benign as serving food and playing ping pong that the NFL would want their logo to be associated with such a family friendly activity. Or is this a passive admission that the NFL knows these are beer pong tables but does not want their coveted and protected shield associated with such paraphernalia that encourages binge drinking? You are smart people. I am confident you can come to your own conclusions as to why that logo was intentionally taken off the sticker sheet.

The real kicker would be for Kevin to call up the manufacturer (Wild Sales LLC, 937 Keystone Way Carmel, IN 46032-2823 – (317) 848-8800) of this table and let them know his table was shipped with some parts missing. He could explain that the sticker sheet is incomplete and that it is clearly visible that the “logo” sticker was removed prior to shipping. He could also ask for a refund because the product was not complete or ask that they send along another sticker sheet that is not missing any stickers. Or maybe that might be a good project for me to take on tomorrow morning…

Thanks Kevin for the email and the photos.

Pinto Ron Not Welcome Anymore

Posted by Dave On September - 18 - 2010

The NFL’s hypocrisy did not end with the close of the 2009 season. Apparently in order to promote a more family friendly environment, the NFL and the Buffalo Bills have told Kenny “Pinto Ron” Johnson he is no longer welcome in Ralph Wilson Stadium’s Lot 1.

Pinto Ron Ketchup Mustard

To understand just who is Pinto Ron, take a look at this video.

After seeing that video you may think Pinto Ron might be crazy, eccentric, eclectic, repulsive or downright charming. What you wouldn’t see is a menace to the tailgating community and being a public nuisance to the NFL’s vision of a family friendly environment.

So what if he cooks bacon on a hand saw blade on the hood of his car? Sure he bakes pizzas in an old filing cabinet. He gets covered in ketchup and mustard in a long standing ceremony that happens at 11:30 am every Bills home game Sunday. And, of course, he shares shots of Polish cherry liqueur out of the thumbhole of a bowling ball. Is his tailgating a bit unique and eccentric? Sure it is. But to tell this super fan he is no longer welcome after 21 years of supporting a perennial losing franchise is outright wrong.

To read the entire article of how Pinto Ron is no longer welcome, read the article from ESPN.com below:

ESPN.com: NFL intercedes in Bills fan’s tailgate

As an advocate of tailgating in general and even more of an advocate of responsible tailgating, I have two really big issues with this removal of Pinto Ron from Ralph Wilson Stadium parking lot.

1) If the NFL is really trying to promote a family friendly environment, why do they still serve beer and alcohol inside the stadium? Fans can get just as liquored up in the stands as they can in the parking lot. Those who want to overindulge in alcohol at an NFL game can get just as drunk inside the stadium although it will cost them more. And oh yeah, the NFL and the individual team’s get a cut of all that beer and liquor flowing inside the stadiums. So a stadium that has alcohol flowing like a spring river is not as family friendly as they would like you to believe.

2) If the NFL is really trying to promote a family friendly environment, why don’t they encourage lower ticket prices, smaller parking fees and better food choices inside the stadium? Using my own season tickets as an example, my season tickets to the San Diego Chargers come out to be $98 per seat. If I wanted to take my family to a game that would include my wife, my daughter and my son. Simple math tells me that tickets alone would be close to $400. Add to that the parking fee of $25 per game along with food and drink to have while tailgating and we are pushing the $500 mark for one day’s worth of entertainment. If we did that for an entire regular season and the team did not host a playoff game, the estimated cost would be $5,000 for the year. I don’t know too families in this economy that can afford $5,000 for 10 Sunday’s of entertainment.

On top of lowering costs, how about encouraging your concessions inside the stadium to sell a healthier type of food? Now that would truly be family friendly to take your son or daughter to a game and not be fearful of the onset of childhood diabetes with one trip to the concession stand. I’ve never seen fresh fruits for sale or even 2% milk or apple juice offered. Not a granola bar to be found. Instead, the artery clogging nachos, overcooked burgers and sugary sodas are all that’s available behind that overpriced counter. Of course the NFL wouldn’t know what exactly is being served down below because their suites are cluttered with rolling carts of shrimp cocktail and creme brulee. Oh, the unwashed, face painted masses? Let them eat brats.

Hiding behind the vaulted “Fan Code of Conduct” the NFL trotted out in front of us in 2008 is cowardly and lame. Keep in mind the NFL is the same organization that sold last year and continues to sell this year, officially licensed NFL beer pong tables. Apparently the NFL thinks you are so stupid that they don’t care that large online retailers like Amazon.com are blatantly calling these items Portable NFL Tailgate Beer Pong Tables. Don’t believe me? Just do a Google search for the term “nfl beer pong table” and see what results come back. I am confident you can assume what results will return.

So the NFL can sell and market beer pong tables sporting the logos of its 32 franchises but a long time fan can’t share shots with other fans out of a bowling ball? Yup, that makes total sense to me. I am guessing if the NFL got a cut of every shot Pinto Ron handed out over the years they may not be so inclined to boot him.

The NFL’s message is loud and clear. It is:

“Thank you longtime tailgaters for helping us build our brand to be the biggest and most widely recognized in North America. We thank you for your loyalty and for your traditions that we have celebrated in the past as quaint and charming. But today is a new day and we no longer need you nor want you. Please pack up all your things and enjoy our product while consuming our multi-billion dollar television package somewhere out of sight of our freshly renovated corporate suites. We will continue to sell binge drinking paraphernalia in our online stores and we will surely continue to sell warm, $8 beers inside the concourse. But please, you tailgaters must understand that we have grown tired of you and although there once was a time where we celebrated you, you are no longer needed. You gave us what we wanted and now you can go.

I predicted this was coming. It started with the Cleveland Muni Lot opening three hours later at the beginning of the season. Now it has evolved into an iconic tailgater in Buffalo being told he is no longer welcome. Be careful what you wish for NFL. Just like many are predicting a revolutionary change is coming in November in politics with the Mid-term elections, the same may be coming very soon from your tailgating fan base. You keep treating tailgaters like they are second class citizens and as if they were unnecessary to your sustained success, and you will see how tightly knit and organized we can become.

It happened with the “Who Dat?” Super Bowl controversy when the NFL overstepped its bounds to try to make a quick buck. The Saints fans banded together and sent the NFL scampering back to their plush New York offices with their tail between their legs. As the NFL continues to expand the list of rules and tighten the regulations on tailgating, they best remember that we the fans, hold the cards. Just imagine a Sunday where NFL teams played in front of empty stadiums and no one watched it on TV. Just for one weekend what a powerful message that would send the almighty NFL.

Be careful what you wish for NFL. You want to rid your stadiums and parking lots of tailgaters who are not your ideal “family friendly” tailgaters? Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

MillerCoors Suing Beer Pong Table Maker

Posted by Dave On February - 18 - 2010

File this under the heading “there is no such thing as bad PR”.

Apparently the folks at MillerCoors have taken a page from the NFL and have joined the hypocrisy party. Stating that they do not promote “irresponsible drinking”, MillerCoors is suing Connecticut-based PB&J Design Inc. for producing a beer pong table with a design that they claim could be easily confused for the trademarked Miller Lite logo. Judge for yourself.

Get_Bombed_Miller_Lite_Table

In the lawsuit, MillerCoors claims:

“MillerCoors has taken steps to promote responsible drinking and has worked with the community and its local distributors to help the consuming public understand the importance of drinking responsibility,”

So apparently the lawyers for the NFL have been talking to the attorney’s at MillerCoors and told them they need to come out and publicly denounce binge drinking and binge drinking games. But do you really buy that they really want to discourage binge drinking or do they just want to spin it to make themselves look like they care about you? I am guessing the later.

On top of that, do the people at Miller Lite honestly believe people are buying their beer because of the taste? That would be like an adult film studio saying they want their customers to watch their movies for the complex character development. Get over yourselves, people!

For clarification sake, PB&J Design Inc. is the parent company for the website GetBombed.com which not only sells beer pong tables, t-shirts and beer pong accessories, but they are also the authors of The Book of Beer Pong.

H/T: Sharapova’s Thigh

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TailgatingIdeas.com is a tailgating blog dedicated to bringing you the latest and most intriguing tailgating ideas out there. Whether it is the latest tailgating gear reviews, a great new recipe or a funny list to make you smile, our goal is to inform and entertain the avid and the casual tailgater alike.

Started in August 2007 by tailgating enthusiast Dave Lamm, TailgatingIdeas.com has evolved into an advocate for tailgaters rights and is not afraid to touch on controversial issues confronting those who frequent the tailgating parking lots.

To learn more about TailgatingIdeas.com and our team of writers, reviewers, cartoonists and contributors, please visit the About Us page.

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