Tailgating redux

I wrote this about self-driving cars about tailgating. Here is a paragraph that didn't make the final edit that explains how I think the "dystopian" future of no parking lots would play out:
No longer able to profit by charging for parking, teams will want to recoup these losses. Rather than allow ad hoc BYOB festivities that benefit from the surfeit of otherwise unused outdoor space, sports entities could instead choose to reappropriate the space outside the stadium into Fan Zones and profit from the additional concession opportunities. The pre-gaming could continue, but at significantly greater cost to the fan and with a much greater corporate imprint. It’s still eating and drinking before the game, but it lacks the freewheeling, bottom-up spirit of a genuine tailgate.
The tl;dr version is this:

1. land costs money
2. you can make money from land
3. if people are going to come to the game anyway, sports owners don't make any money from tailgating. They have to provide the parking anyway. This is true whether you come to the game by other means, like bike or metro. So, it's definitely possible to tailgate without a car. But that's only because there's space for you to do it. 
4. So if technology/society radically changes and they don't have to provide the parking BUT people still want to come to the game early and party, what's a more likely outcome:
  • Dan Snyder builds some lovely park space for people to enjoy for free while they cook their own food and drink their own beer?
  • Dan Snyder builds some godawful beer garden thing where he can restrict outside food and beverages and charge $12 for a Bud Lite and $16 for a half smoke?

So, yeah. Anyway, far be it from me to mourn the loss of parking lots (we have too many and they are bad in a myriad of ways), but it's always interesting to think about what could/might happen to land that's being used for parking when it isn't used for parking anymore. Generally, the urbanist case response to this is "Good things like more buildings!" but the other side of the coin is "the end of free activities that only can happen because there's a parking lot there, such as tailgating." 


  1. I'd like to go to a game in Seattle one day. Even though I hate the Seahawks and Pete Carroll is an obvious sociopath and a cheater, the stadium (which happens to be next to the Mariners stadium) has almost no surface parking at all. Public transportation is good, it's walkable for the average fan from downtown, and the Seahawks fans have a fantastic reputation around the league.

    All that to say you can have great fans and a great football team without seas of parking around your stadium.

  2. I agree. You don't need a ton of parking around the stadium if people have good alternative ways to get there. I guess the point I'm trying to probe (so much as I have any point at all) is the larger question about how we re-allocate public space when we don't need it for cars anymore. Right now- chilling in a parking lot before a football game and kicking back some beers is a really cool and normal thing. But doing the same thing in a public park and watching the game on your phone? Not nearly as cool. And in many cases, totally illegal. So, as spaces change and they're redefined, what behaviors can happen in them will change too. Sort of a weird tangent example, but think of streets themselves. They used to be play space and kids used them for games and baseball and whatnot. But then we ceded them to 'move cars fast all of the time' and all of the sudden, the idea of letting a kid play in the street seems utterly nuts!

  3. I look at the space around Nats Park and how long it's taking for things to build up around there. I really thought it would be faster to fill in with bars/restaurants and things to do before and after games. I wonder if there is a stadium anywhere that used to have parking and now has something else? Maybe we can sell the Mayor on putting her name on the press release where she's the first Mayor to help build an NFL stadium with no surface parking in the middle of a high density TOD area?

    I think about this, also, when I'm biking up 11th St NW and the bike lane suddenly goes away. We dedicate so much space to heavily subsidized personal property storage, and as a result we don't have enough room on the road for a bike lane, and cars behind me get impatient as I plod up the road with the kids.

  4. moved to be but get yeah you want to try not to lift your head like best say you're just a really banner Testorip X brightest yeah speeded-up a little just a tad just be thinking about heart rate up shoppers been I guess become top kid just jumping just that you can do this isn’t just a moving perhaps .


  5. Thanks for sharing this informative posts,.
    buy chainsaws