Parking Lots Close for Home Football Game, Students Express Frustration


Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Adam Fondren | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Devin Oldroyd, News Writer


On Thursday, Sept. 2, the University of Utah football team had their very first game of the 2021 season. It was a home game that caused various parking lots around lower campus to close, leaving many who park on campus without their usual parking spots.

“It absolutely made parking more difficult,” said University of Utah Sophomore Kaitlyn Pankowski. “The only way I was able to make it to my class and my job right after was to pay for parking. It sucked, especially since I already paid for a parking permit so that I would be able to park and avoid situations like that.”

Throughout the week of the game, U Commuter Services posted signs and updated their social media with warnings of the many parking lot closures.

“I don’t think it was fair to close those lower campus lots, especially since students have to buy passes to park there in the first place,” said U sophomore Taya Unruh. “I think that parking should have remained open to those paying for it regardless of the game because, in my opinion, the agendas and studies of students are more important than a football game.”

The many parking lot closures around lower campus even affected campus COVID-19 testing’s Union Building location.

According to Cameron Wright, the program manager of campus COVID-19 testing, there are parking stalls at the Union reserved for testing participants.

“To avoid any potential issues accessing the reserved stalls, it was decided that the appointments scheduled that afternoon — after 12:30 p.m. — should be rescheduled,” Wright said. “Direct emails were sent to those individuals notifying them of the change. Our testing team worked to open additional time slots for that Thursday morning and the following Friday to accommodate for the inconvenience.”

The home game is not the beginning of student, faculty and staff frustration with the way parking is enforced on campus.

“Honestly my experience when it comes to parking on campus has been really bad,” Pankowski said. “There aren’t really clear signs and they will ticket you a lot of the time without warning. Not to mention the times when the parking lots are full, and how there are no convenient U lots, which is the only semi-affordable parking permit option.”

Pankowski also feels that parking tickets and warnings are given without just cause.

“I was parked in a spot that I had parked numerous times before and had no issue, then one day there was a ticket on my windshield,” Pankowski said. “I understand now why I couldn’t park there, but at the time there was no warning or anything to suggest that I couldn’t and I had seen countless other people park there. A $70 ticket is a big deal and a ton of money for a college student.”

Another common complaint is the lack of open parking space on campus.

“So far this year my experience with parking on campus has not been good mostly due to limited parking,” Unruh said. “Usually it takes me a bit to find an open parking spot.”

According to U Commuter Services’ Twitter, which frequently reports on parking lot capacity, the Stadium Lot, Eccles Broadcasting lot and Merrill Engineering Lot all reach at least 80% capacity each day.


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