Game day rules rankle commuters

By Jordan Smith Managing Editor


 On basketball game days at SDSU, parking lots near the Frost Arena are closed off in the evening for season ticket holders to park in. The rule isn’t new but some students claim it makes it more difficult to find parking in close proximity to the events that bring them to campus. 

Parking Services Director Derek Peterson has been with parking services since it began about three years ago and said game day parking precedes parking services, as it has been around for about 10 years.

“Parking is critical to events on campus so the parking committee voted to continue the relationship with athletics,” Peterson said.

The athletic department approached parking services and asked them to enforce the parking regulations for the event Peterson said.

The lots have always been reserved for season ticket holders who donate $500 or more annually, it is just being enforced now due to the growing number of fans that qualify for priority parking passes and the limited space in the lots, Associate Athletic Director of Tickets & Marketing Christi Williams said.

Lots north, south, and east of Frost Arena are open until 5:10 p.m. on game days. After that they are reserved for season ticket holders who also donate $500 or more annually. There are 485 priority ticket holders this season, according to Williams.

The lots need to be vacated by 5:10 p.m. on game days during the week, and 2:10 p.m. for weekend games.

Parking services has been working with athletics on the signage to let commuters know when the lots are closing for the season ticket holders with premier parking passes on game days. An email was also sent out to parkers on campus to let them know of the policy.

“The big thing is that it is not new,” Peterson said. 

Parking Services first asked athletics staff to vacate the lots for the games before going to students and faculty. 

Parking Services has been taking calls on questions from students and staff said Kimberly Engelmann parking services program assistant. Parking services has mostly had questions from departments and faculty asking if the policy applied to them. So far, Engelmann has personally not received any complaints from students on the lot closures.

This year, new signage was created and warns people parking in the lot after it is reserved for basketball games that they will get a citation. The signs are put out early morning on game days. The old signage said that vehicles would be towed; this new signage is a lot friendlier, Peterson said.

So far, there have been three events with parking attendants writing warnings on cars without the correct parking pass to notify them to relocate. 

Eventually parking attendants will write citations, and the parking committee is also having a meeting to decide whether to give a warning or write a citation for the second offense.

Parking is available to commuters on the west side of The Union, the east Union lot is open and the lot north of the Briggs Library is available along with Coughlin-Alumni Stadium lot. All lots open at 4 p.m. and allow for commuters to park in them without citations.

“This lot closure is not taking parking inventory away,” Peterson said.

Hannah Medeck, a junior biology and pre-med major, said she thinks it’s unfair to ask students to remove their cars from the Wellness Center parking lots by 5:10 p.m. on game days. “It is an inconvenience and defeats the purpose of me buying a parking pass,” she said.

“I understand why the Frost Arena lot is used for basketball games, but the north Wellness Center lot is for students going to the Wellness Center, not for Frost Arena,” Medeck said.

Williams said the lots are reserved as a benefit for season ticket holders who also donate annually.

On the few days that there is a home basketball game commuters can park their car in an all-class lot or move cars to other lots after 4 p.m., Williams said. Along with that, all athletic staff are included in this policy and park in other lots unless they donate the required level.

In the future, parking services may try to run a free shuttle from the parking lots that are further away from the Frost Arena. Parking is also looking at blocking off streets like they do during football so there is less traffic congestion. 

“It is a multi-headed approach,” Peterson said. “We are going to work with students and faculty as well as try to do things with the season ticket holders.”