April 24, 2014

Cleveland Lot Now Charging Pedestrian Tailgaters

Thinking about saving time, space and money by merely meeting friends who may be tailgating in The Pit on West 3rd street this weekend?  Well, if so, you better scratch off the “money” part of said goals as pedestrians will no longer get by unscathed.

From Cleveland’s a Plum, we get the preposterous account of Network Parking now charging a $5 Pedestrian Fee to those merely looking to stand around with their tailgating brethren before the Orange and Brown kick off.

My  friends and i have been tailgating for browns home games in “the pit”, a lot owned and managed by network parking, for years.

So as I headed to the pit to tailgate for the Browns/Bengals this past Sunday morning I was beyond surprised to see that there was a network parking attendant collecting a “$5 pedestrian fee” from tailgaters to hangout in their parking lot.

Essentially a $5 cover charge to walk through a parking lot – a slab of concrete.

When I was asked to pay the fee, I laughed, said no way, and walked away. but I didn’t get far… the attendant called a couple of cops over because there was a group of about 15 people (including my friend and I) refusing to pay.

It’s not the $5, it’s the principle. you simply can’t start charging a “pedestrian fee” the second home game of the browns season – isn’t the $30 a spot enough to make a profit, network parking?

It was the infamous Muni Lot that made headlines before the season with their ridiculous 7am rule (which was ultimately nixed by authorities due to traffic issues closer to 6am), and now it’s a pedestrian fee at the lot just east of the stadium.  The issue has since been picked up by 19 Action News and Gawker Media’s The Consumerist – both parties understandably siding with the fans.

Given that each car now pays $30, it makes financial sense to squeeze as many people as humanly possible into a back seat or truck bed prior to entering the pit.  Stack ‘em up!  Of course, there isn’t a parachuting-in fee…yet.

(Update: The Plain Dealer reports that the parking lot will no longer charge those who appear to be cutting through the lot.  No word on what they plan to do with those that have coolers and such.)

A $5 Pedestrian Fee to Tailgate for  Browns Game? [Cleveland's a Plum]

  • Mark

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. Someone should be fired for this.

  • Nikki

    This is absurd. One more reason Cleveland screws over its fans and citizens. I used to love and promote this town, but it looks like I’d be better off being a Pittsburgh fan. They at least know how to treat their loyal fans!

  • Chris

    Small correction for you:

    Consumerist was sold last year to the Consumer’s Union (the same people who publish Consumer Reports) and is no longer affiliated with Gawker Media.

  • kersh

    Got nailed with this “fee” this weekend meeting my brother down before the game. Never had to pay a cover charge to tailgate before.

  • Charlie

    I got there at about 10a and walked right in. The attendant looked the other way ’cause I think he knew what he was doing was ridiculous. But it seemed the later it got the more strict they were. People were pissed (that’s the nicest way I can sum up the sentiment).

  • MP34

    I was pretty surprised when I walked down to the pit as well. I felt bad for the attendants. Network Parking pulls this $5 fee out of nowhere and then throws the two attendants to the wolves. I paid and moved along but some others I saw were not so nice.

  • Gren

    While I appreciate the post Scott, and am outraged to a degree. What time and where can I watch the Cavs game tonight ? :(

  • Brett

    The corrupt bureaucrats of Cleveland politics have gotten their way with this one. Just another alleyway of revenue for a city desperately looking for money. I don’t feel like babbling on. The communists have won.

    Seriously, though.

  • http://none Coop

    Yet another reason NOT to go to the Brown’s games.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    The first step in eventually ending tailgating altogether. Make it so expensive that nobody wants to do it.

    What’s next? Can’t bring your own alcohol and you have to pay $8.00 per beer to buy it from a vendor?

    Would love it if the fans boycotted that company this Sunday.

  • Stinkfist

    would Chris Angel have to pay if he just levitated over tailgate?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com DP

    How is it Communist if you have the choice not to pay and not to take part it in? Did I miss a day in school when they covered that?

    Seems to me like this is pure supply-and-demand Capitalism on Network’s part. Charge whatever the market will bear. When people stop paying it, they’ll stop charging it.

  • Mark

    @ DP – Beat me to it. That was a head scratcher.

  • Harv 21

    Maybe the amount is high but don’t see that the concept is so outrageous.

    First, I believe this particular lot is private, not city, property. So let’s not go off about city policies. Go to a “fan friendly” city and you’ll see game day parking rates close to their stadiums that would make an extortionist blush.

    Second, why does a lot owner have to let anyyone on his prop to party, free? Would you? Someone has to clean up the mess from a large crowd exceeding those who came in cars. I park in another parking lot used for tailgating and after a Sunday night or Monday night game it’s pretty obvious many people, presumably including pedestrians, don’t clean up all their own garbage or bottles or always look real hard for a public john. Why is “totally free for me to party for hours in a private lot” the obvious right answer?

    $5 seems high to me, but I wouldn’t start pouting about my entitlements if the private lot owner asked for a buck or two.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    Wait, DP – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with supply-side economics. Right?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com DP

    I don’t know, Denny. I just know it’s not Communism. If it was Communism, everybody would be allowed in. :-)

  • Scotty

    harv 21 – That’s why they charge the $30 per car, with the amount of cars that are there every Sunday I can’t feel too bad for their situation.

  • Dave

    The Plain Dealer also picked this one up:

    These guys thankfully made a big mistake – they annoyed a city councilman, who’s now trying to find ways to go after them.

  • Natenum

    I am going to wait outside the lot and fill my car up with random people and then when i get past the attendent, I will let them all out!!!

  • ben

    You guys are missing the real answer – turn around and charge them $6 for the pleasure of your company and making their lot the “hip” place to be.

  • cninja

    I think the right answer is there are a couple other places you can tailgate if you feel like staying 5 dollars richer.

    no one is making you go and tailgate where they make you pay to get in….

    and i’m still laughing at the guy who thinks acting like a stone cold capitalist is somehow communism creeping through America.

    someone has been watching too many highlight reels of Joe McCarthy