Farmers Field Staples Center

Seriously AEG? You’ve GOT to be kidding me

Farmers Field
Can you see anywhere you would like to tailgate in this artist rendering of Farmers Field?

When you envision tailgating prior to an NFL football game on Sundays, what comes to mind?

Most people, including ourselves, picture groups of fans grilling their own food, maybe playing a game of cornhole, partying behind their cars and possibly enjoying an adult beverage or two that they brought in their own cooler. Apparently Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) in Los Angeles has a different vision than you, me and pretty much everyone else that understands NFL tailgating.

Just as some background information for you, AEG is a sporting and music entertainment presenter that most notably operates the Staples Center, home of the Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings and the NBA’s LA Lakers and Clippers. Despite the fact that an NFL franchise has not called Los Angeles home for nearly 20 years, AEG has pursued a campaign to build Farmer’s Field on a proposed site near the Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center. They are doing this in an attempt to lure an existing NFL franchise to move to LA or convince the NFL to offer LA an expansion team. (It should be noted that rival Los Angeles Stadium is attempting to do the same thing.)

Even though there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel for either stadium to land an NFL franchise, both entities have continued to plan for the day when an NFL team does come to Los Angeles. And because tailgating is such an integral part of the NFL Sunday experience, both proposed stadiums have announced plans as to what they plan to do to accommodate those who love to tailgate. And just wait until you hear what AEG has planned for tailgaters if Farmers Field is awarded an NFL franchise.

AEG announced “tailgating” plans in May that include booths set up from a variety of vendors to feature local restaurants serving food to the fans as they make their way to the stadium.

YouTube video

That’s it. That’s AEG’s big idea for tailgating outside Farmers Field. Local restaurants serving food outside the stadium.

No mention of expanded parking areas or partnerships with the privately owned and operated parking lots that surround the stadium to encourage tailgating. Apparently AEG thinks tailgating is paying $10 for a plate of food from a restaurant street vendor and eating it on the way to your seat.

No matter if you live in Los Angeles or not, this blatant disregard for tailgating should not be tolerated. It’s offensive that AEG even tried to call this debacle “tailgating”. Just because you serve food prior to kick off in close proximity of a stadium does not make it tailgating. All AEG is doing is “pre-gaming”.

You can bet anything you like those restaurant vendors allowed to set up on the street outside Farmers Field will be paying a huge fee for the right to be there. Of course I am sure that fee will be built right into the cost of the food they are serving and will probably match the cost of concessions inside the stadium. So much for “tailgating” and being able to save a little bit of money by grilling your own food and bringing your own beverages to the party.

It is this reason and this reason alone why Farmers Field should be denied the privilege of the NFL awarding them with an NFL franchise. We fully support the efforts of LA Stadium to convince an existing NFL franchise to move to Los Angeles. The proposed parking at LA Stadium is huge and expansive and the management there understands and respects tailgating. Something that may be shocking is that the people behind LA Stadium think that tailgating is a major selling point for their proposed facility and outright encourage it.

It has been no secret that when it comes to the two proposed stadiums in the Los Angeles area, we have at Tailgating Ideas have been rooting for LA Stadium and rooting against Farmers Field for quite some time. This recent announcement by Farmers Field regarding their vision for tailgating has just confirmed our initial instinct was correct.