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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Football game could mean parking issues

With this week’s football game falling on a Thursday, many students are saying that finding a place to park around campus could be a problem.

However, UA Parking and Transportation Services has devised a plan to deal with potential issues. The plan involves closing several lots to permit holders in order to accommodate the 60,000 fans who are expected to attend the game. Permit holders that could be affected include those in Cherry Avenue Parking Garage, lots 6090, 6092, 6093, 6097, 6098 and on National Championship Drive. Drivers with parking spots in those areas have been assigned temporary alternate parking spots, and have been notified by PTS to plan their schedules accordingly.

While the weekday game is uncommon, the parking plan itself is not new for PTS. The same plan was used during last year’s game against Arizona State University to help coordinate parking for 1,300 students and faculty.

“We dealt with this last year with the ASU game, so we’re … using the same strategies where we assign temporary parking spaces to those parked adjacent to the stadium,” said Bill Davidson, marketing manager for PTS. “We’re used to doing this.”

Davidson said PTS has a lot of experience dealing with large events, and that it approaches all of them in a similar manner.

According to Davidson, the plan itself was devised by working closely with the athletics department after both departments agreed that letting fans and students handle parking on their own was not a good idea.

“We just wanted to make sure that there was a specific plan in place, that we weren’t just letting everybody kind of go at it by themselves and that we really had a strategy here,” Davidson said.

He also said PTS wants students to know about the other means of transportation available on and around campus.

“Parking and Transportation encourages students to get alternative transportation such as biking, walking and carpooling,” Davidson said.

The department is also offering a free parking incentive to anyone who carpools and makes use of Tucson’s Sun Tran bus service. Additionally, the university’s CatTran system will run on a modified schedule after noon on the day of the game.

But for all the department’s confidence that everything will go smoothly, students have expressed mixed feelings.

Andy Price, a marketing senior, said he has missed just two football games since his freshman year, and that parking could be an issue.

“I’d say it has the potential to be a pain in the ass,” Price said. “You have students and Tucson locals parking together, so it could be interesting.”

Charity Rouland, a marketing junior, said she believes that the game being on a Thursday might make things easier.

“I think a lot of Tucson locals might not come because it’s on Thursday and there’s work Friday,” Rouland said. “But I also heard of a lot of people not going to this game because of the parking.”

Leah Swanson, a junior studying speech, language and hearing sciences and psychology, said she has experience dealing with parking during football games. As someone who used to rent a spot in the parking lot south of Sixth Street, Swanson said she moved her car weekly to make room for spectators, and that PTS knows what it’s doing.

“They’ve been doing this for years,” Swanson said. “I don’t foresee it being an issue.”

James Brislawn, a political science senior, said he attends every football game because he works for Redington Catering, the UA’s catering service.

“The parking situation is always worse when you have students mixed with fans,” Brislawn said. “If I remember correctly, it’s definitely worse on Thursdays than it is on Saturdays.”

Overall, PTS representatives said they think they have what it takes to alleviate the stress that comes with parking at large events. According to Davidson, a survey coordinated by the department after last year’s weekday game against ASU showed that most were pleased with the parking plan.

“We do plan on doing that again,” Davidson said.

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