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83-Steelers-43
04-19-2006, 08:59 AM
How big is your tailgate?

By Sam Spatter and Karen Roebuck
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Mike Paterak is a big-time tailgater.
He brings to Steelers games a motor home, a hired DJ, beer, food and 100 to 150 guests, to party in -- or relatively near -- two to four North Shore parking spaces for which he pays.

For 20 years, the owner of Tailgaters Bar in Harmar and his tailgating team partied in lots between PNC Park and Heinz Field. That changed last year, when a lot attendant told Paterak his pre-game festivities were taking up too much room, he said, "and forced us to park the motor home next to another motor home where we couldn't open the door."

Alco Parking Corp., which operates all the lots between the two stadiums, is trying to rein in super-sized tailgating parties by requiring oversized vehicle parking passes. Beginning next football season, Steelers fans with vehicles requiring more than one space will have to buy season parking passes for $1,440 -- the equivalent of four spaces for each of 12 home games. That's the equivalent of $120 per game. Single-day sales, however, will no longer will be available for oversized vehicles.

The Steelers currently have 10 home games scheduled -- two in the preseason and eight during the regular season.

It was unclear last night why Alco listed 12 home games.

"Every year, I'm accused of killing tailgating," said Merrill Stabile, Alco president. "It's really a matter of crowd control."

During past Steelers seasons, drivers of recreational vehicles, campers, vehicles pulling trailers, limousines, large trucks and others that don't fit into a single space purchased multiple parking passes for $30 a space. The buyers decided how many to buy.

Many bought fewer spaces than their mammoth wagons could fit -- most RVs need four -- and then argued with lot managers who tried to collect for all spaces used, Stabile said.

And tailgaters seldom restrict themselves to tailgates.

Frequently, people and their grills, tables, sound systems and chairs spread into spaces they didn't buy and into the roadway, blocking drivers and would-be parkers.

Tailgaters sometimes block people from parking nearby, even when attendants direct the new arrivals there, Stabile said. Drivers who are let in sometimes return to find their vehicles covered with mustard, he said.

"The nice thing about this pass is, we can revoke it if they're not following the rules of the lot," Stabile said.

Oversized vehicles claim about 20 percent of the pre-sold 4,000 to 5,000 spaces in Lots 1, 2 and 4, the only ones in which they are supposed to park, he said. No tailgating or recreational vehicles will be allowed in the 1,200-space parking garage under construction between the baseball and football fields, he said.

Alco's new oversized-vehicle pass does not apply to concerts, Pirates games, University of Pittsburgh football games or other stadium events, because those haven't consistently produced problems, Stabile said.

The massive parking lot parties cost more for security and cleanup crews, he and other lot operators said. Tailgaters who arrive in cars tend to throw smaller parties and cause fewer problems, Stabile said.

Instead of scaling back, Paterak moved his expansive tailgating to the lot behind Carnegie Science Center, which is operated by Maxt Associates. The 1,200 spaces there go for $25 each.

"This town really goes nuts over this activity," Stabile said. "We have people who have literally been married in the parking lot."

Suitanim
04-19-2006, 09:43 AM
This is why Dom's tailgate no longer brings their black & gold RV to the games.

83-Steelers-43
04-19-2006, 10:22 AM
$120 per game? Thank God for SUV's. Bringing an RV is simply not worth it anymore.

clevestinks
04-19-2006, 10:39 AM
I like knowing someone with an RV, not bringing one, LOL

melroseplace
04-19-2006, 11:13 AM
that's pretty ridiculous. party poopers :poke:

pucho58
04-19-2006, 01:16 PM
I think I saw that guy when we played the ratbirds on monday night last year. He throws a good party. By the way, I live 45 minutes from Philly when I get a free ticket to go to an Egales game, parking is 10 bucks but in the Burgh I had to Pay $100 bucks for a parking permint from a scalper for the monday night game agaist the ratbirds. What's up with that is that the norm.

Stlrs4Life
04-19-2006, 06:27 PM
That is exactly why we are getting the kick in the nutrs. On top of that they are taking up parking spots for new parking garages also.

83-Steelers-43
04-19-2006, 06:30 PM
That is exactly why we are getting the kick in the nutrs. On top of that they are taking up parking spots for new parking garages also.

They can tear down PNC since it's not going to good use and we will have more space? Nevermind, maybe that's not a good idea....just put it out there. lol. :bouncy:

RoethlisBURGHer
04-19-2006, 07:08 PM
Thank God my buddy has an F-150 STX 4x4...that's what we're gonna be in if we go to any games this year.

SteelerzGirl
04-19-2006, 07:21 PM
They can tear down PNC since it's not going to good use and we will have more space? Nevermind, maybe that's not a good idea....just put it out there. lol. :bouncy:

LOL

It's such a shame... PNC is such a beautiful ballpark and the Pirates suck. Thank god I'm an O's fan, although I am happy when/if the Bucs can pull out some wins. :smile: