Based on Zygi Wilf’s current dream of building a publicly subsidized 21,000 car parking lot in Arden Hills, after his previous dream of building a 21,000 car parking lot in Anoka County, it seems like Wilf really wants to use the public’s money to force people to drive somewhere where he can charge for parking rather than being able to walk there from downtown hotels or take transit such as the LRT or Northstar Rail.
Perhaps Wilf has been inspired by the Redskins’ Dan Snyder, who’s taken parking charging for parking to amazing heights: You pay by the person rather than the car. And you pay for parking whether you drive or not!
Area rock and soccer fans these days are feeling Snyder’s parking genius, right in their pocketbooks. Paul McCartney and Real Madrid v. D.C. United played at Snyder’s FexExField this month, and U2 is coming next month. For every ticket sold to these events, Snyder has tacked on a parking charge, from $5 to $10, in addition to all the other fees (Ticketmaster and the like). This is in addition to the advertised admission charge.
So, if you drove with five people to the McCartney show, you will have paid $60 for a parking spot in a Godforsaken portion of Prince George’s County. And if you took those same five people on the Metro with you, you will have paid $60 to not park in a Godforsaken portion of Prince George’s County.
It seems safe to assume that residential neighborhoods near the TCAAP site will ban parking on game days in order to avoid having their neighborhoods littered with tailgating waste. That won’t give Vikings fans many parking options, other than succumbing to whatever Wilf chooses to charge fans on top of the costs fans are already paying at the county and state level.
The article mentions that “tying arrangements” like this, where people are forced to pay for something they don’t want in order to get something they do want, are illegal. Yet the Vikings already use tying arrangements without recourse. For example, people must purchase “flex package” in order to attend the Packers game by purchasing a ticket to one of five less in-demand home games (Cardinals, Raiders, Broncos, Saints, or the end of season when nobody will be caring Bears game).
Is it really in the public’s interest to publicly subsidize stuff like this?