Reliant tailgaters now need a game ticket

We here at the AFC South Blog don’t spend a lot of time in the parking lots of NFL stadiums, except walking through them.

And I think tailgating on a blazing hot day is overrated. But I understand how it’s a gigantic deal in Houston.

So much so that people who aren’t going to the game flood the parking lots to eat, drink and be merry. So much so that they can slow things down for actual ticket holders.

Thus the Texans announced Thursday what appears to be a reasonable new policy about parking at Reliant Stadium: Starting with the next home game Oct. 10 against the Giants, all fans who wish to enter stadium grounds must possess a game ticket or other valid team issued credential.

The team will distribute a maximum of 2,000 additional passes for season ticket holders to use for friends who won’t be attending the game. They’ll cost $10 apiece.

“The excitement and enthusiasm surrounding our team is at an all-time high and as it continues to build, we want to ensure that our game attendees continue to have an exceptional experience before, during and after Houston Texans home games,” said Texans president Jamey Rootes.

“The tens of thousands of non-ticketed visitors that have occupied the stadium grounds on recent game days have created significant challenges for our traffic, parking and facility management operations. We feel this new policy is a necessary step in our efforts to provide our game attendees with the fun, festive and friendly game day experience that they have come to expect from us.”