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Police departments working to limit large tailgating crowds for Hawkeye games

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 6:05 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -With Iowa’s first home football game tomorrow, there is an effort to limit tailgating around the stadium. Fans are not allowed inside to see Iowa play Northwestern tomorrow, law enforcement is still preparing to deal with large crowds tailgating.

University Heights Police Chief Troy Kelsay will be out patrolling during the game Saturday. “Interacting with the people who are gathering,” he explained. “If there are issues, I will chat with the person responsible for the property.”

The city changed the rules this year. No grass parking. People can’t tailgate with more than ten people on the front yards of a private property, there’s no tailgating on public property. People breaking the rules can face a fifty dollar fine, but Kelsay doesn’t think it will come to that.

Kelsay hopes to do more education than enforcement. “I’ve experienced with some frustrations with people i have dealt with,” he said. “But I’ve always been able to gain compliance in some fashion or another without having to resort to enforcement.”

That’s why the rules were put in place, to discourage large gatherings. “University Heights has zero interest in being identified at some point down the road as here’s where the super spreader event occurred,” he said.

Iowa City Police will respond to disturbance calls, but they don’t have rules in place about breaking up tailgating on a private property.

“We’re not going to do that if people aren’t causing a problem,” said Denise Brotherton, Interim Police Chief with Iowa City Police Department. “What we will do is educate them, remind them, the smaller the gathering the less the infection. They should be wearing mask, but again, they’re on their own private property.”

Vendors are also banned around Kinnick Stadium this year.

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