I’ve said it before and I will say it again – I hate it when I am right.
Back in January I put together a few Predictions On Tailgating for 2010. My first prediction was tailgating times will get smaller and restrictions will grow. It seems as though I was dead on when it comes to that one. We’ve already seen it happening with New Tailgating Rules for the College World Series in Omaha this year and the trend is bleeding over to football. The worst news is that it is even affecting bastions of tailgating commonly thought as “untouchable”.
Yahoo! News: Changes coming for Cleveland parking lots on Browns game days
Cleveland’s well known “Muni Lot” is not only getting more expensive to park but is also taking away three hours of tailgating time. The price per vehicle is going up by $5 this year beginning with the home opener on September 19, 2010. Welcome back Clevelanders to another season of Browns football! We know LeBron James issued a punch in the gut by turning his back on you but please, accept this price increase as a token of our appreciation for your unwavering loyalty. Would you like a swift kick in the balls as you enter or exit the Muni Lot?
Many might be saying, “Hey, $5 is not that big of a deal.” In all honesty, you are right. Over the course of eight regular season home games that works out to an extra $40. Not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Everyone is strapped for cash these days including the City of Cleveland I would imagine.
Here is the part that has gotten Cleveland tailgaters up on the tires. Along with this price increase comes the announcement that the parking lot gates will now open three hours later than they had in years past. You read that correctly. They will charge more money and offer less tailgating time.
If you read the Yahoo! News story there is a quote in there from Darnell Brown, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Cleveland. He said, “The $5 increase will help offset the cost for services rendered.” Brown re-iterated that the rate increase is not about making money.
Um, What!?! Did Brown say that with a straight face? Services rendered? Seriously? You charge $5 extra yet reduce the tailgating time and the best thing you can come up with is “services rendered”? It’s a freaking parking lot. What services are you rendering?
You just reduced tailgating time by three hours which means you have to pay your parking lot attendants, parking fee collectors, city police officers, etc. three less hours on their hourly wage. If you are reducing your wage costs how can you justify a fee increase for “services rendered”? To me it sounds like you should be lowering your parking fees rather than increasing them. Unless Cleveland plans to install gold plated flush toilets instead of port-a-potties in the Muni Lot, I am failing to see a good reason for increased fees for “services rendered”.
I am a tailgater, not an MBA. Was I sick the day they taught that it is good business to raise prices combined with a reduction of the product? How would you react if you were being charged more for a gallon of milk but instead of it being a gallon, the bottle was 20% empty? You’d probably be pretty pissed off, right? Judging by the emails I have gotten within the past day, the mood in Cleveland Tailgate Nation is pretty irate.
Cleveland tailgaters Larry Oliver and Chuck Dean have started a petition online to demonstrate their outrage. Titled Muni Lot Open Time hosted on Petitiononline.com, the petition has already gathered over 3,100 signatures after only being up for less than 48 hours. (I was No. 2218)
Whether you are a Cleveland Browns fan or not, I would urge you to sign the petition as a sign of solidarity for our tailgating brothers and sisters. Don’t think that because it is happening in Cleveland it does not affect you. Because if it can happen in Cleveland it can happen to you.
Sign the petition HERE