Q: What is a Tailgate Event?
A: A tailgate event is a new type of public event for which you can obtain a Special Occasion Permit (SOP). Tailgate events are held outdoors, in connection with and in proximity to a live professional, semi-professional or post-secondary sporting event. Permit holders may sell and serve alcohol, and attendees 19 years of age or older, may bring their own liquor (BYOB) for consumption at the event, within the permitted area.
To hold a tailgate event, organizers must be issued a Tailgate Event SOP by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
Professional sporting events may include sports where the participants are major league teams such as members of the Canadian Football League (CFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Soccer (MLS). Semi-professional sporting events may include sports where the participants are minor league teams such as members of Ontario Hockey League (OHL), AAA baseball, United Soccer League Championship or the American Hockey League (AHL). Post-secondary sporting events may include sports where the participants are extramural, varsity or intercollegiate sports teams that are members of Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) and Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) or Ontario University Athletics.
Q: How can I apply for a Tailgate Event Permit?
A: The AGCO will begin accepting applications through its online portal called iAGCO as of May 6, 2019. To apply, applicants should select “Special Occasion Permit – Tailgate Event”.
Q: How old do I have to be to get a Tailgate Event Permit?
A: You must be 19 years of age or older to be issued a Tailgate Event Permit. If the applicant is an organization, association or company, the Permit will only be issued to a member or representative who is at least 19 years of age and who has signing authority for the organization, association or company.
Q: Can I apply for a Tailgate Event Permit in person?
A: No. Applications for a Tailgate Event Permit will only be accepted online.
Q: Can I apply for more than one Tailgate Event Permit in a single application?
A: Yes. You may apply for multiple tailgate event dates in one application. Please see the Tailgate Event Permit Guide for more details.
Q: How much does a Tailgate Event Permit cost?
A: A Special Occasion Permit - Tailgate Event costs $150 per day. Payment must be made at the time of the application, by Visa, MasterCard, Interac Online, Visa Debit or MasterCard Debit.
Q: What information will I need to provide during the application process?
A: Please refer to the Tailgate Event Permit Guide.
Q: When do I need to apply for my Permit?
A: You should apply for a Special Occasion Permit - Tailgate Event at least 30 days before your event.
Q: Is there anyone else I need to notify about my tailgate event?
A: Permit holders must notify, in writing, the local municipality, police, fire and health departments informing them of the tailgate event. The building department must also be notified if a tent, marquee, pavilion or tiered seating will be used. Notification to the municipality must be done at least 30 days before your event if you are expecting less than 5,000 people, or at least 60 days before your event if more than 5,000 people. Contact information for your municipality may be found on the Ontario Municipalities website.
Sale and Service
Q: Can I sell alcohol at my tailgate event?
A: Yes. A permit holder for a tailgate event may sell and serve alcohol at the event, though this is not a requirement.
Q: Can people bring their own alcohol to a tailgate event?
A: Yes. Tailgate Event Permit holders must allow guests to bring their own alcohol to the event and allow them to consume it within the permitted area, even if the permit holder will be selling alcohol. Attendees may not sell alcohol they have brought with them; only the Permit Holder may sell alcohol if their permit allows for sale.
Q: Can people now bring their own alcohol to other Special Occasion Permit events?
A: No. Guests may only bring their own alcohol to a Tailgate Event SOP. It is not permitted under any other type of Special Occasion Permit.
Q: Where can I hold a tailgate event?
A: Tailgate events must be held at an outdoor premise that is at ground level and in proximity to a professional, semi-professional or post-secondary sporting event. Tent, marquees, pavilions or tiered seating are allowed in the area under the Permit.
A proposed tailgate event must be within proximity to the sporting event to which the tailgate event is connected. A tailgate event that is held within 1 km of the sporting venue would generally be considered to be within proximity to a sporting event.
Q: Does the event area need to be fenced?
A: A fence is not required, however you must ensure that the area under the Permit is readily distinguishable from the surrounding areas where the Permit does not apply.
Q: Can children attend a tailgate event?
A: Persons under the legal drinking age of 19 may attend a tailgate event, unless the Permit Holder has chosen to host an age-restricted event. Where persons under the legal drinking age do attend, they may not possess, obtain, or consume alcohol and it is the responsibility of the Permit Holder to ensure this does not occur.
Q: What happens if the sporting event associated with my tailgate event is cancelled?
A: In this case, the tailgate event would no longer be considered “in connection with and in proximity to” a live sporting event. In these circumstances, the Registrar may revoke the Permit.
Responsibilities of a Tailgate Event Permit Holder
Q: What are my responsibilities as a Tailgate Event Permit Holder?
A: Permit Holders (or a designated Responsible Person) are responsible for the safety of the people attending the event and it is your responsibility not to permit intoxication at the event, regardless of whether alcohol is sold or served by the Permit Holder or is brought by the attendees. For a complete list of your responsibilities, refer to Regulation 389/91 made under the Liquor Licence Act.
Q: Do I have to be present at the event?
A: As the Permit Holder, you or someone you have designated during the application process as a Responsible Person must be present at all times during the event.
Q: Do I need security for my event?
A: You must ensure sufficient security is available so that unauthorized persons do not attend the event (e.g. minors at an age-restricted event or persons without tickets at a ticketed event) and to ensure that the conditions of the Permit and requirements of the Liquor Licence Act and its regulations are observed. In order to determine whether security is sufficient, you should take into consideration the nature of the event; the size of the premises; and the age and number of persons attending the event.
For more information, please contact AGCO Customer Service at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876 (toll free in Ontario), or contact the AGCO online via the iAGCO online portal.