The Ontario provincial government announced a change in regulations that will allow fans to hold tailgate parties outside of sports games.
For many sports fans in the US, tailgate parties are one of the best things about going to see your favorite football team. Heading to the game a little early to catch the tailgate party is a great way to meet other fans and all around boost the community aspects of sporting events. Tailgating in Canada, meanwhile, is a little lackluster—largely because it's illegal.
That's set to change in at least one Canadian province, as the Ontario government will soon allow US-style tailgate parties in parking lots within a reasonable distance from sports stadiums and arenas.
"We think that people in Ontario should be given the opportunity to be treated like adults and I think it would be kind of fun," Ontario House Leader Todd Smith (Progressive Conservative) told Global News. "We've been talking about it for years and years and years and no government has ever given us the opportunity to engage in a good old-fashioned tailgate."
Canadian tailgate parties will still be a little different from those often seen in the US. The venue will have to apply for a special occasion liquor permit that will allow people to drink in the parking lot. Individual sports teams will also have a say in whether or not they want to allow tailgating at their games. Once the venue has the permit and tailgating is cleared by the given team, people will be allowed to bring their own drinks or buy them on site.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., who own some of Ontario's biggest sports teams—the Raptors, Maple Leafs, Argonauts and Toronto FC—said they are looking into bringing tailgating to their games.
"Upon learning of the provincial government's plans regarding tailgating legislation, we will be consulting with both levels of government, and the local services that would be responsible for implementing the changes, to determine how best to apply to our facilities and events with the best possible experience for all fans in mind."
Now, if Ontario could only get the rest of their retail cannabis stores open.