Big change for tailgating during Texans games

October 1, 2010 3:47:15 PM PDT
Just days after fights and arrests plagued the tailgating fun at Reliant Stadium, there are now new rules in place, and the restrictions are making a lot of people angry. Now on games days, all tailgaters will have to have a ticket. According to the Houston Texans, there were 20,000 non-ticketed people in the parking lots around Reliant Stadium during the game against Dallas Cowboys. There were a season's worth of incidents in the post game, and most involved non-ticketed people.

The team says it's time for change, and not everyone is happy.

Texans fans take their tailgating just as seriously as they do the game, so when word of the new tailgating policy started to spread, the phone lines lit up at Sports Radio 610.

"I think it's pretty crazy for the people that can't afford season tickets, much less a parking pass, to go out there and not be able to at least be in the environment of the game," one caller said.

Starting with the team's next home game against the New York Giants on October 10, all fans who want to enter Reliant Park grounds must have a game ticket or a tailgate ticket, and only 2,000 of those will be available.

The Texans say they've been considering changes since the end of last season, but post-game against the Cowboys was the last straw.

"It's been building, and it's not a trend that we see reversing," Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes said.

Eyewitness News was there when Houston police arrested two people for stealing beer and fighting. A YouTube video also shows a fight.

The Texans say they've been overwhelmed with complaints so something had to give.

"Our season-ticket holders said to us this is not the type of experience I've had in the past and this is not the type of experience I'm looking for and they need for us to address it, so this was the best way for us to take care of it," Rootes said.

Texans blogger Stephanie Stradley said she's heard mostly negative feedback. The timing adds only insult to the injury of a Dallas loss.

"The timing of this couldn't be any worse," she said. "It'd be one thing if they decided on this during the off-season, but to choose the game after the Dallas Cowboys to do this, is basically saying because Dallas Cowboys fans are jerks, we can't go into our tailgates like we normally do."

To accommodate those people who do not have a game ticket but still want to tailgate, the team will make available those 2,000 tickets to season-ticket holders only. There's a limit of four for each season-ticket holder per game. The tickets are $10 each, and the team says they'll have people at all parking lot entrances to enforce the new policy. They say they realize there will be a lot of kinks to work through.


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