No pass? That’ll be $5, please

Aaron Kaufman

You may have to pay to park at home games

A new 70-foot high-definition screen wasn’t the only fresh addition to Dix Stadium Saturday. A sign that read “Parking: $5” stood in front of the stadium’s general admission parking lot.

“If you are a donor, a Varsity Key member, if you have a university parking permit, you don’t have to pay,” Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy said. “In my mind, it’s not that aggressive.”

For the first time, Kent State charged for parking in the general admission lot next to the stadium. The funds generated from the new fee will be used to help subsidize the cost of hiring Ampco System Parking and Ohio State Troopers to work the games. Hiring these privatized services costs the athletic department about $20,000 per game, according to Kennedy.

“This is a very small amount of what helps cover the direct cost of the parkers and security that we have for the event,” said Kennedy, adding that the figures for how much was made this weekend had not yet come in.

The new parking fee took some by surprise.

“I don’t like it at all, I mean it’s the first I’ve heard of it,” said Ryan Kurz, junior sports administration major. “You show up here and you see $5 for parking. They send out a weekly letter from Lefton, but you can’t get notifications about $5 parking.”

Although the cost was generally unexpected, most felt that it wouldn’t deter students from attending football games.

“People who are going to come are going to come to support the students, so they know they can get over us with the $5,” said Ken Brantley, cousin of senior offensive lineman Augustus Parrish.

The only Mid-American Conference schools that do not charge for parking are Eastern Michigan University and Buffalo University. Kent State will still offer free parking and shuttle service from the lot on East Summit Street. None of the revenue from the fee will be used to help pay for the recent stadium renovations.

Contact Library and Information Services reporter Aaron Kaufman at [email protected].