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Super Bowl tailgating restrictions inspire alternative party

Category: RV News
Source: Yahoo News
Publish Date: Thursday, January 31, 2008
Summary: Superbowl fans find alternate venue for pre-game tailgating.

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Jacques Billeaud, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHOENIX - Bart Beaudry decided to come to Phoenix to watch the Super Bowl - on TV from a lot that's 25 kilometres from the stadium.

For Beaudry and other hardcore tailgaters, a state fairgrounds lot is where the action will be Sunday.

"It's like going to a wedding: everybody is out for a good time," said Beaudry, a bank executive from Dallas who regularly tailgates at Cowboys games with his family.

Though tailgating's allowed outside University of Phoenix Stadium in suburban Glendale, it's restricted to fans with tickets, and parties must be contained to single parking spaces. And no grills or open flames.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league encourages tailgating because it draws fans together, but puts limits on the Super Bowl because space outside the stadium is tight.

Beaudry and Jay DiEugenio, organizer of the first annual "Super 'Gate," event have something bigger in mind.

DiEugenio's four-day party at the state fairgrounds includes watching the game on a gigantic TV, a super fan contest, a barbecue cook-off, a "celebrity-free" Texas Hold 'Em tournament and the "Miss Blacktop Babe" pageant, in which women will be judged on their game faces and prowess as fans and trash-talkers.

Fans with RVs can get a spot for four days for US$350. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's size and length of stay.

DiEugenio, a self-proclaimed "professional tailgater" from Yorba Linda, Calif., whose tailgating adventures include a Jeopardy episode, said he created his event because there has been little space recently for such parties outside Super Bowl stadiums.

"We are trying to give tailgating back to the fans, where it belongs," said DiEugenio, who added he was close to selling out the 300 vehicle spaces set aside at the state fairgrounds. "There is nothing like going out there and meeting new people and seeing old friends and talking football and eating good food."

Although shuttles to the game will be offered, Beaudry plans to stay put.

He, his wife, two daughters will stay in a rented RV, and he's bringing plenty to entertain and feed them. His cargo trailer carries several grills, a keg of cold beer, tables, coolers, a margarita machine and a flat-screen TV.

Beaudry also has spent $1,000 on steaks, shrimp, lobster, escargot, bratwurst, sausage and peppers, and a pig that will be cooked on a spit. (Hot dogs and hamburgers are only for the kids.)

"It's a hidden competition, and everybody wants to outdo the other guy," he said.


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