KU now charging for garage parking for women's basketball fans

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The days of free, covered parking for Jayhawk women’s basketball games is over.

Unlike in years past, Kansas University Parking & Transit no longer is lifting its gates to the parking garage at Allen Fieldhouse following the Jayhawks’ women’s games, ending a practice that had started at the request of Kansas Athletics Inc.

“From an economic standpoint … this practice is no longer tenable,” said Donna Hultine, director of KU Parking & Transit, in a message distributed to several hundred season-ticket holders for women’s games.

Fans still can park in several of Kansas University’s surface lots near the fieldhouse for free after 5 p.m. weeknights and on weekends, but parking in the fieldhouse garage will cost folks the toll rate of $1.25 an hour, payable upon exit.

“We hope and expect that it won’t discourage basketball fans from attending the women’s basketball games,” said Jim Marchiony, an associate athletics director.

The policy change will not affect the garage during men’s basketball games. All of those spaces remain reserved for season-ticket holders who are members of the Williams Fund and have enough points compiled to buy special, per-game parking passes.

Passes for men’s games are purchased by Kansas Athletics, then resold — at cost — to qualifying buyers, with all proceeds going to KU Parking & Transit, Marchiony said. The same goes for passes in KU’s garage along Mississippi Street during football games.

Now, following women’s basketball games, KU Parking & Transit will accept cash, Visa or Mastercard payments for people parking in the garage directly north of the fieldhouse. Such added inconvenience and costs are complications for which Hultine expressed “regret” in her note distributed to fans.

Marchiony didn’t have a word to describe the decision, only acknowledgment of an overall economic reality.

“I don’t believe there’s an entity in the country that isn’t looking at its budget and making appropriate decisions,” Marchiony said.