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Tailgating not allowed outside of U.S. Bank Stadium at Super Bowl LII

Anyone attending Super Bowl LII and hoping to do a little tailgating before the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots kick off is out of luck.

As was detailed by Amy S. Rosenberg of Philly.com, tailgating outside of U.S. Bank Stadium will be strictly prohibited.

“This will be a very contained, secured perimeter area,” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said, per Rosenberg. “So the traditional Philly tailgate, unfortunately, unless they do it by the hotels, we don’t see any. And that’s for the Patriots fans, too. There’s just going to be so much going on in front of U.S. Bank Stadium.”

It’s true that tailgate parties can get out of hand. If you’ve ever walked through the parking lot before an NFL game, you know this. People have too much to drink and all of a sudden the good natured banter between fans isn’t so good natured.

But there’s one lingering feeling here. While the security reasons are at least somewhat valid, the NFL is just trying to milk every penny that it can out of its customers.

Tailgating serves two purposes. One, it gives fans a chance to interact with each other. If done well, that’s great. Two, it feeds the fans. Of course, if the fans aren’t hungry, they’re not buying food in the stadium. We know that the NFL isn’t having this. Because even if you were planning on skipping tailgating and just bringing some sandwiches into the stadium, you’re out of luck.

So, the fans are being asked to buy Super Bowl tickets (which aren’t cheap). The non-local fans are also being asked to buy plane tickets to Minneapolis. And if you’re going to specifically see the Eagles or Patriots, those tickets could not have been purchased before the conference championship games (unless you were supremely confident). Also, the majority of those fans will have to pay for lodging in Minnesota.

And, of course, they can’t get a break on food (which isn’t exactly new). And of course, because security is so strong, fans attending the game really have to get to the gate at least an hour ahead of kickoff. Given that Super Bowls tend to run longer than the average NFL game, the average fan will be sitting at the stadium for about five hours, and that’s a conservative guess. Five hours in one place without eating is possible, but not necessarily reasonable — especially when the event takes place at a time of the day when most of us enjoy dinner.

So, to eat, you must buy stadium food. More often than not, stadium food struggles to be as good as what you’d get at your local McDonald’s, and is three times more expensive.

For fans of the NFL, these are things to remember. The NFL may say that it loves it fans. But the actions of this league frequently go in the exact opposite direction. This is another prime example of that.