The people at the PNE remind me of my mother. It was OK to have a party at our house, but only if there was no booze, we kept the lights on, feet on the floor, no loud music, and everyone home by 10:30 p.m.

Gee, thanks mom.

After extensive deliberation, the PNE has changed its mind and will now allow tailgating, that convivial pre-game parking lot party at B.C. Lions home games after all.

But no booze.

And no briquettes. Propane BBQs only.

And that will be 30 bucks for parking, thank you.

Concerned that there could be families in the next parking stall watching, the guardians of the PNE are making sure there are no foam moustaches or dangerous grilling to contend with.

Talk about “No Fun.” But what do you expect from an organization that has just unveiled an entertainment lineup for this year’s fair that reads like the script for a zombie movie? Wayne Newton? Huey Lewis And The News? The Beach Boys? I realize the PNE is celebrating its 100th birthday, but do the acts all have to be 100 years old, too?

It’s too bad because this is an enormous lost opportunity for the PNE. I’m sure it could find a way to become the official supplier of suds, doled out at a temperate rate, to tailgaters at Empire Field using mobile concession stands, e.g. golf carts.

That way it can help build a picnicky (as opposed to a persnickety) ambience that goes beautifully with the first all-outdoor Lions’ season in 27 years. Not only that, by selling suds and sodas, the PNE can recoup some of the $6 million it is paying to bring the Undead to sing at the stadium.

Admittedly, there’s an outside chance someone will get overly refreshed and disorderly and burn their burgers, but the PNE parking lot is a contained facility and the high price of parking alone should discourage rowdies, who, if they had 30 bucks, would spend it all on beer and misbehave elsewhere.

Rough and tumble Calgary, which must have more yahoos per capita than civilized Vancouver by the Sea, allows all kinds of tailgating activity in the McMahon Stadium parking lot before Stampeders games. Apparently, football fans smuggle in contraband via coolers while police look the other way.

Nothing bad ever happens. Everyone just sits around, sporting foam moustaches, grooving to the Beach Boys, eating ribs.

Mom would love it.

– Paul Sullivan is a Vancouver-based journalist and owner of Sullivan Media Consulting;

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