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Gopher football fans convince Minneapolis Park board to reverse tailgating, parking ban

The ban at the popular park near the stadium was announced Tuesday, then quickly overturned.

It only took a matter of hours for enough boisterous Gopher football fans to convince the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) to overturn an unpopular decision. 

On Tuesday, the MPRB made a Facebook announcement saying tailgating and parking at East River Flats Park won't be allowed this college football season, which begins Friday when the Gophers host South Dakota State University. 

"This decision follows MPRB ordinances and will help to prevent further damage to parkland not intended for vehicle parking. Effective immediately, all parking at East River Flats parking lot will be restricted to paved surfaces only," the announcement reads

The announcement was met with responses from stunned, angered football fans. 

"48 hours before the first tailgate of the year? Really? This is a bad decision, compounded by bad timing. You're screwing this up for a lot of people," one commenter said. 

Another wrote: "Not a good look for the park board to throw this at fans 2 DAYS BEFORE THE GAME! Especially since there are no other affordable alternatives anywhere near campus."

Within hours, the MPRB reversed its decision to disallow tailgating and parking on grassy surfaces. 

"Mea culpa. We heard you," the MPRB wrote in response, acknowledging fault in the decision. "We didn't realize how significant the impact would be to fans. We will allow parking and tailgating for this football season and will revisit this decision over the winter. We will communicate the status of tailgate parking in the spring."

East River Flats Park sits along the Mississippi River, to the southwest of TCF Bank Stadium. 

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