Lot 72, located between the Burge Union and the Allen Fieldhouse Garage, is available to Jayhawker Towers parking pass holders. But on gameday, lot 72 is restricted and reserved for high-level Kansas Athletics donors, University of Kansas Parking and Transit said. Towers residents consequently lose parking.
KU senior and Jayhawker Towers resident, Lauren Fee, said that the gameday parking situation can sometimes get complicated, especially for residents of Tower D.
“People that usually park in Wagnon lot , then move into the spots in front of Tower D on gameday,” Fee said. “It gets really crowded and we usually end up having to park up in the [Tower] A lot,” said Fee.
If students forget to move their car from the Wagnon lot, they are most likely going to be issued a parking ticket, KU’s Director of Transportation Services, Donna Hultine, said.
“I have definitely realized that I left my car there in the Wagnon lot on gameday and last minute moved my car and nearly got a ticket,” Fee said.
During the 2019-2020 basketball season, before the pandemic hit, Parking and Transit wrote 55 tickets for basketball event restrictions, according to data provided by KU Transit Analyst, Margretta de Vries. Lot 72 is included in this data.
Hultine said that Parking and Transit does not typically take KU housing lots for sporting events. However in the case of lot 72, it was a KU Athletics parking lot before it was a Towers parking lot.
De Vries said the Towers used to have a parking lot across Irving Hill Road. When the lot was taken away for the construction of the Integrated Science Building, lot 72 became Towers parking to compensate for the spaces lost.
“Lot 72 as a yellow zone has always been a basketball lot as long as I have been here, so the caveat of turning it to a Towers lot was that it had to stay a basketball parking lot on game day,” de Vries said.
Fee said that on game days there is usually a person posted at the entrance to the Towers’ parking lots to ensure those entering are residents of the Towers. Hultine said if non-residents are able to get into the lot on gameday somehow, they will get a $30 ticket. The ticket increases an additional $10 each time after.
Hultine said they did this in order to heavily discourage outside traffic from parking illegally in housing lots to lessen the distance of their walk to the game.
“At some point, the ticket becomes too expensive to be worth it to park close,” Hultine said.
The people that park in lot 72 on gameday are usually big donors to the KU athletic department and are awarded spots based off of a point system KU Athletics organizes, Hultine said.
She also said that being able to share parking with athletic events helps support the Parking and Transit department because, by Kansas Statute and Kansas Board of Regents policy, Parking and Transit has to be self-supporting.
“We don’t get any tuition dollars or tax dollars so it’s all user funded, so we pre-sell these parking lots to athletics and athletics gets to decide who parks where during these events,” Hultine said. “Then we get the money, which is $30 dollars per stall per game.”
This year because of the pandemic, Parking and Transit did not restrict lot 72 on gameday, Hultine said. Not selling these stalls to athletics and the money loss from the pandemic have affected Parking and Transit a lot financially, she said.
“We started the [2019-2020] school year, we sold permits and then COVID happened, so we did refunds of permits because everybody got sent home,” Hultine said. “We lost that revenue and then definitely events revenue since venues were so limited in the numbers they could allow.”
Though the loss of revenue was tough on the department financially, Towers residents have benefitted from a year of lot 72 not being restricted.
“It has been nice because we don’t have to worry about the other Towers lots getting too full or getting ticketed if you forget to move your car,” Fee said.
Students can sign up for text reminders to help them remember to move their cars on game days, Hultine said. Parking and Transit also sends out an email at the beginning of each season to inform and remind students of game day parking routines.