Dear PNE and the BC Lions Football Club,
We started off with a blip and ended with a bang and as avid tailgaters we are here to say thank you.
After our rocky start, you stepped up to the plate and gave football fans in Vancouver the best tailgating experience this city has ever seen. There have been large tailgate parties in the city before. But nothing compared to what you provided for us. It was real, it was encouraged and it was awesome.
You proved beyond a doubt that tailgating is not an evil activity. You proved that with the foresight to provide garbage cans and washrooms and a few non-meddling authorities to watch over the proceedings that tailgating is an activity that just adds to the game day experience of fans, and boy did Lions fans have it good for the last year and a half.
Great steaks, prime ribs, homemade burgers, crepes, French toast, cedar plank salmon and other delicious meals were created in Lot 9. Footballs were thrown around, new friends were made and the BC Lions game experience rivaled that of our friends in Calgary, where the standard for this pastime has been set in the CFL.
The tailgaters in your lot were mostly season ticket holders, many who have never tailgated before. They are now wondering why they never did this before, and where they will do it when the games move downtown. They may be in for a shock.
We’re hopeful that those involved will make something happen downtown. It can only fill the parking lots, and create new fans if it’s done the way you showed them how to do it.
To the BC Lions we thank you as well. We know that both the PNE and the club worked together to make this happen for the fans. We hope you can work with your new partners to make sure this great football tradition doesn’t disappear in Vancouver. Your fans are now hooked.
Lastly to all the fans that came out and joined the tailgate experience thank you as well. You picked up your garbage. You respected the lot and your fellow tailgaters and you showed all the parties involved how great this can be.
We’re all members of the Tailgate Empire and it was a great ride!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
We invite you to share your memories of the great tailgates at Empire Field, we would love to hear them.