MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board reversed course in just hours Tuesday after it announced that tailgating and grass parking for Gopher football games would no longer be allowed at East River Flats Park.

The park board’s initial social media posts said that all parking at East River Flats would be restricted to paved surfaces, effective immediately. The explanation for the change was to prevent damage to the parkland.

The timing of the announcement quickly became an issue, as several angry Gopher fans responded on social media.

East River Flats is just a few blocks from TCF Bank Stadium, where the Gophers are slated to play their first game of the season Thursday against South Dakota State.

“Why was this not communicated earlier,” wrote Nate Steffan, on Twitter. “Having tailgated at the flats for many years, this was a secret gem of a tailgate spot and [it] is extremely disappointing that [the park board] would choose to do this two days before the first Gopher football game.”

About three hours after its initial announcement, the park board reversed course and apologized to fans.

“Mea culpa. We heard you,” the board posted. “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.”

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