Charity tailgate canceled due to permit problem

- Bad news for hundreds of Tigers fans planning to attend one opening day party.

Organizers claim the city threw them a curveball and forced them to cancel at the last minute.

"There is a lot of people out a lot of money," organizer Andy Grossman said. "I don't think the city realizes what they did here."

It was supposed to be the ultimate tailgate party - 1,000 tickets sold for the biggest opening day celebrations with three Detroit bands, Box Alarm BBQ and a bunch of booze. It was expected to take place at 700 Randolph in Detroit ... but not anymore.

"Everything for this event was going to charity, the entire thing," Grossman said. "It was all the Wayne Westland Firefighters Charitable Fund, the Great Lakes Burn Camp. They are probably out because of this at least about $10,000 at least."

Andy Grossman, from Emergency Restoration Services, says they have been throwing this opening day tailgate party for the last 10 years. Organizers never had a problem, but this year when they applied for a special event permit to hold the party and sell liquor, they were denied.

Grossman claims in the past he received all of his permits just a couple weeks before the event. This time the city told him they needed to apply 90 days ahead of time.

FOX 2: "What is different this time that you never had to do before?"

"All of this," Grossman said. "The whole thing. We've got different permits, we've been told different things. This year we went through the special events process and they said this is the process that's always been in place."

John Roach, the city of Detroit director of communications, tells FOX 2 that's true.

The special event permit process has always been in place - but this year the city is enforcing it, he said. Roach also released this statement: 

"There are numerous Opening Day events taking place downtown that made it through the City's special events process. 
Despite this particular special events application being submitting in a short time frame before the event, we were able to help the Great Lakes Burn Camp obtain City Council approval so they can put it on. 
However, the City of Detroit does not have the power to issue an open air liquor license. That is a State of Michigan process.
The Great Lakes Burn Camp is still approved to host their event, as approved by City Council, on the lot at 700 Randolph."

In a last-minute attempt to save the party, Grossman convinced Bookies, who already had permits in place, to move their event there to basically combine parties.

Bookies was on board. But the city still said no.

"Because of the liquor license," Grossman said. "And the move they told me that I would have to get new permits for the new location event though the location was already permitted."

Now organizers are out $40,000 stuck with freezers full of meat and very disappointed performers and Tigers fans.

"To be slapped like this it hurts," he said.

FOX 2: "Will you do the parry next year?

"I don't know, it's kind of turned us off from the whole thing," Grossman said.

The organizers obviously feel horrible about this, for all of the people who purchased tickets wondering what next? They say they plan to refund everyone but it is going to take a few weeks.

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