IBy Bill Oakey – June 16, 2021
If you think you have seen eliteism and utter disdain for “regular Austinites” of modest means, wait till you hear about this! The folks who crammed a soccer stadium into a North Austin neighborhood, with poor road access and only 835 on-site parking spaces, have another treat in store for you. I won’t ask you to take my word for it. Just look at these parking prices for the “Semi Final” (misspelled) game on July 29th. (Click to enlarge photos):
I have to wonder what type of person would pay $50 to park anywhere to do anything. If they have that little regard for money, why not just crumple all of the bills in their wallet into a sweaty ball and toss it onto the ground? Let somebody have it who can really do something useful with it. I might consider paying $50 parking to witness the first landing of visitors from another planet, if they were guaranteed to be friendly.
For a more down-to-earth parking arrangement and pricing for MLS soccer, check out the convenient, on-site parking for $10.00 at Toyota Stadium for the Dallas FC. You might have noticed that the $50 parking slots for the big game here on July 29th are not sold out. Nor are the $25 shuttle reservations, for which you get to hike 8/10th of a mile in the scorching heat, to the open-air Q2 Stadium. Once the fans get settled into their seats, it will be hot enough to fry an egg on the concrete. For the half-billion dollars that the team owners spent, you would think they could have built a covered, climate-controlled stadium.
The North Austin neighbors living next to the stadium wonder what their lives will be like, once the hordes of vehicles descend upon their streets and intersections for various upcoming events. To hear Capital Metro tell it, there will be rows upon rows of buses running up and down dozens of streets across town, taking giddy fans to the stadium. But the reality is that most Austinites have never set foot on a city bus. The low income folks who relied on Capital Metro for years to get to work, saw their neighborhood bus routes taken away a few years ago. The lucky ones who still have bus service have to transfer two or three times to get anywhere.
So, that leaves only one remaining hope for soccer fans who don’t want to pay exorbitant parking prices. They can take Uber or Lyft. At least their surge pricing doesn’t usually kick in until the return trip. But this sets up quite an interesting spectacle. Just close your eyes and try to imagine – 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 or 15,000 rideshare vehicles, inching along toward an uncertain destiny, in the greatest series of epic traffic Jams in the history of Texas!
Now, that’s something that I might pay a premium to see – in a comfortable, air conditioned helicopter ride.