Browns Tailgaters Blocked From Municipal Lot Thursday Morning

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CLEVELAND--Regular tailgaters who set up in Cleveland’s Municipal Parking Lot before Browns games, had less time for partying Thursday.

City officials delayed the time they were allowed to go in to the lot.

The line started to form early Thursday morning.

Browns fans parked along South Marginal Road, waiting for hours to set up inside the Muni Lot for tailgating.

"In years past, we were able to get right in. There's never a hassle, there's no waiting, there's no blocking the streets, like we're having to do now. We could just get right in and get going," said Jim Durham.

The first group of fans in line actually arrived Wednesday night on a converted bus.

"They let us park in there temporarily, but then we had to move out because they said they'd tow us if we continued to stay there, and ticket us," said Maria Ursetti.

Tailgaters felt sacked, because Cleveland officials decided to keep the far side of the Muni Lot closed to tailgating until noon. The time conflicts with a sign in the lot that states it opens at 7:00 a.m on game days.

The side closer to downtown and the stadium remained closed to tailgaters until 5:30 p.m.

"Instructions were you had to stay on your vehicle. I tried to set up a couple chairs to read the paper. They threw us out, said you had to stay in your vehicle. I'm in my vehicle," said Doug Breach, as he sat in a chair on the bed of a pickup truck.

"But it's a workday, it's a different day than a Sunday," said Cleveland Public Works Director Michael Cox.

During the week, many downtown employees park in the Muni Lot. City leaders said they had to delay the access time for traditional tailgating, because the game is on a work day.

"And that's kind of hard on some people who want to do it all day, all night. We can't allow that when we're trying to work, run a parking lot," Cox said.

"We're not harassing anybody. We're talking to the people going by, going to work, they're laughing with us," said Breach.

When the gates on the Eastside of the lot opened at noon, the tents and grills went up, and the partying went on as usual.

"We all thought it was gonna be the same, but at least we're here," a tailgater said after the lot was open.