MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When it comes to tailgating this may be the toughest season yet for Vikings fans.

Thanks to all the new development, there are half as many tailgate spaces as there were last season at U.S. Bank Stadium.

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Greg Hanson and his tailgating pal Steinarr paid $750 for one season spot.

(credit: CBS)

“The game is the icing on the top of the thing but the tailgating is really the event,” Steinarr, who lives in Crosby, said.

“To be perfectly honest the game may be horrible but the tailgating is always glorious,” Hanson said.

But this year, they are the lucky few. Season-long tailgating spots are at a minimum this year.

Alan Kaufman runs the lots, he is the general manager of Interstate Parking. He has half the spaces he did last season.

(credit: CBS)

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“Last year we had about 600, close to 700 spots and this year we have about 340, 350,” he said.

He says he can’t stop developers. A spokesperson for the Vikings says they tried, too, and they can’t control what private companies decide to do.

Jeff Anderson released this statement:

“U.S. Bank Stadium has helped generate significant economic development in the East Town neighborhood, which is great for Minneapolis and the state. For several years the Vikings have worked to ensure tailgating remains available despite the changing landscape, and we will continue to look for ways to accommodate those fans who want to participate in the tradition. Beyond that, it is not appropriate for us to comment on another private lot owner’s development.”

“I’m really having a hard time grappling with that,” Steinarr said.

As far as the remaining lots, Kaufman says, “I really don’t know, I wish I could tell you, I don’t know.”

They say they will never stop cheering on their beloved team but they may start doing it from home.

“If I can’t come and do this part of it, it’s going to feel like I’m just coming to an opera so I just go in, sit down, watch it and leave,” Steinarr said.

There is still a lot a few blocks from the stadium where you can get single game tailgate spots, lot 53, but these few spots that are right by the stadium are spoken for for the season.

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The Vikings say they’ll continue to work to get more tailgate space as they recognize this is a problem.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield