The Texas Rangers have made some changes to the rules surrounding tailgating in the parking lots ahead of games for the 2013 season, including the home opener April 5.
First up, there will be no more paying to park and then hanging out with your friends in the parking lot while the game is going on inside. Attendees must have a ticket to get into the parking lot or they won't be allowed in. Picking up your tickets at Will Call? Don't worry, the Rangers said those with a reciept for their ticket purchase will be allowed to park before picking up their tickets at Will Call -- however, the team recommends picking up your tickets in advance of game day. For questions about this policy, fans are being directed to the ticket office.
New this year, parking spaces are for vehicles only and not for tents, grills, chairs, games of cornhole or other tailgating mainstay. Sounds unfair but this is win for those looking to actually park in one of the lots near the ballpark and not several blocks away.
Also, your tailgate space, on the grassy areas, may only occupy a 9x12-foot space. Further, that space must be confined to the area behind your vehicle -- and again, that can't be another parking space -- only a grassy area.
Tailgating is now only permitted from the time the parking lot opens until the end of the 2nd inning. After that, it's technically not allowed until after the game -- at which point it can continue for another two hours. After that time has elapsed, security will be asking people to head home. It's safe to assume the team has a plan in place to halt tailgating after the 2nd inning ... so plan accordingly.
The ballclub also is reminding fans that the following items and activities are prohibited while tailgating: Open flames, deep fryers, weapons, fireworks, fighting, selling food and beverages, merchandise, amplified sound systems, outside catering, advertising products (including beer and food) and private porta-potties. Yes, you'll have to stand in line like everyone else, with everyone else.
You can, however, still cook from charcoal or gas grills. And, you can still play cornhole ... provided you are friendly with your tailgating neighbors and are able to spread your game boards into three 9x12 spaces.