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Event Parking GetsMakeo BY JEFFREY T. BECKER

they rip a two-part ticket in half, throwone stub on the dash and jam the other in a pocket, along with your $20 bill. Just down the row, season ticket holders flashing parking passes are directed to their spaces.


HINK BACK JUSTA FEWYEARS. You’re on your way to a football game and what do you see? Parking atten- dants all wearing aprons with big pockets on the front. As you pull up,

A supervisor runs a visual check to see that every car has a

stub or pass.After the game has started, the attendants go back to the office, where an auditor tries to reconcile the tickets and the cash and the passes. But all too often the number of transactions didn’t equal the number of spaces in the facility, even though all the lots are full. The demands of parking at a major event such as a concert

or a ballgame can be daunting. Huge crowds converging from every direction.VIPs and season pass holders jockeying for their preferred spaces.Multiple lanes and lots with dozens of atten- dants doing their best to collect themoney and get people parked. Managing a situation like this can be a

nightmare. There are just too many ways the process can break down. Facility owners have gone to great lengths to try to get a better han- dle on their event parking. One approach is to use more people.

More supervisors keeping an eye on the atten- dants, trying to verify that every vehicle gets accounted for.There have even been stories of facilities putting “auditors” on rooftops or even in helicopters all in the hopes of getting accurate counts thatmatch the cash turned in. Alot is at stake, to be sure, but at the same

time, facilities are under increasing pressure to control staff costs.

Improving the experience for the customer “Generally speaking, the No. 1 complaint

from fans at sporting events is parking,” said Bill Squires, Past President of the Stadium ManagersAssociation. What can you do to provide an excellent

customer experience to your suite holder, sea- son ticket holder, contributing alumni or aver- age fan? How can you lessen the need for cash-handling for your fans as they enter the stadium so they can spend more on conces- sions and souvenirs? As happens so often, developments in

technology bring new solutions to problems. Remember what happened in the world of off- street parking?Years ago, facilities were run by an entry lane ticket dispenser that time- stamped a piece of paper. That was then stamped by a time clock on exit, and the cashierwas left to calculate the fee in his head. Now we have tickets with data encoded in a magnetic stripe and fees calculated automati- cally by computers and pay-on-foot stations. We’re poised for a similar revolution in

High Tech Event Parking – Attendant uses hand held card readers andmobile printers to track cars in an “event” environment.


event parking.Great advances have beenmade inmobile computing technology, and the costs of cellular and other wireless communications have decreased dramatically. Innovative com- panies are incorporating thesemobile comput-

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