Parking fees near new Fayetteville stadium drive complaints from some residents
Complaints about the cost of parking in downtown Fayetteville are growing in the wake of a hike that coincides with the opening of a new stadium that is home to the Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
Some Cumberland County residents say the stadium designed to bring business to the downtown area could end up helping to drive business away.
Kristorpher Ateman has been a waiter at Huske Hardware for about two years.
He said he started noticing a change in his tips about two weeks ago, when the city started charging $10 for downtown parking on game nights for spaces that are normally free.
“The ones that have to pay to park, they don’t tip normally as much as they would have if they didn’t have to pay,” he said. “To pay to park is coming out of our tips.”
Some residents argue that the $10 fee shouldn’t apply to all, especially for those who come to patronize a business and have no plans to enter Segra Stadium to watch the Woodpeckers play.
“I don’t think that’s really fair,” said Meredith Bush, “I think that there should be somewhere else where you can park if you’re just coming to eat. You don’t need to pay that.”
Jay Hottel said customers wanting to patronize businesses near the stadium may have to make alternate parking and transportation plans.
“You probably got to have somebody drop you off and pick you up,” he said.
Kris Johnson is a walker. She lives about a mile from the new stadium and doesn’t mind leaving her car at home and walking to see a baseball game.
“We’re in growing pains here in Fayetteville,” she said. “It’s part of growth (and) development.”
Mayor Mitch Colvin is well aware of the parking complaints. He also knows the new parking deck under construction next to the stadium isn’t going to solve all of the area’s parking problems and complaints.
“That parking deck is not being constructed for the sake of the baseball stadium,” he said. “What it’s doing is adding to the available inventory of available parking around this area.”