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Fred Gray strings out the rope parking barrier along Gourrier Lane on Friday Sept. 9, 2016, for the LSU-Jacksonville State football game. He said it takes several days to set up with many spindles of rope that gets strung out.

I have been going to LSU football games since I was 7 years old. My family has been tailgating in lot 304 with a crew of college friends for many years. Parking near the tailgate location is a challenge, but we have been willing to stay abreast of the parking rules, and in 2018, we began buying the overnight parking passes for $40 per game. We leave a vehicle overnight in close proximity to the tailgate spot. I parked my vehicle in the same spot as the previous games on Friday, Oct. 19 after 5 p.m., placed the parking decal on my dash as per the parking regulations and left. The next day, I discovered that my vehicle had been towed. After talking to city and parish police officers, I was directed to the LSU Police Department, who in turn sent me to the towing company. I asked these people why my vehicle was towed, since I had a valid overnight parking pass on my dash, and a rude young woman told me that there was no parking pass in the vehicle. I walked out to the vehicle, and the pass was in plain sight. I showed this to her, and she replied that they just tow the vehicles, and I would have to pay $190 to get it out of the impound yard. I also showed the pass on my dash to LSU police officers on two different occasions, and they both told me “ Sir, I don’t know why your vehicle was towed.” They also told me that I would have to pay the $190 towing fee and appeal the parking violation. I paid the rude towing company clerk and discovered a parking ticket on my windshield, which was wet and not legible.

I am 62 years old and have been paying taxes since I was 16 years old. I live my life by the rules in place, regardless of whether I agree with them. Tailgating at LSU games is a family tradition that my daughters and grandchildren enjoy immensely. However, this tradition seems to get more complicated and expensive every year, and it appears to be driven by the university’s insatiable appetite for more money. Had I parked illegally, I would have admitted my mistake and paid the fines. If the LSU police officers miss my parking pass again, I think they may have a future as an SEC official, specializing in targeting calls.

Kevin Chatelain