$399 for Super Bowl parking? And still a 20-minute walk?
Never underestimate the ability of anyone remotely associated with football’s Super Bowl to separate fans from their money.
To extravagantly priced game tickets and jacked-up concession prices, you can add overpriced parking -- up to $399 for a single spot in Indianapolis, site of the Feb. 5 Super Bowl XLVI game. And those pricey spots are a good 20-minute walk in winter weather to the actual game, according to a survey by TV station WTHR.
But the $399 spots can accommodate big RVs and tailgate parties, with fans able to reserve the spots online ahead of time. And toilet facilities are available.
"They can tailgate, feel like they are not going to get harmed. We are watching while they are at the game," Peter Hanson, owner of TWAY Company Parking, which owns the lot, told the station. "They know they are being taken care of."
That’s one way to put it.
Belaboring the obvious, Scott Gould, of Denison Parking, told WTHR: "It is probably going to be the best day in the parking business." With 10,000 parking spots, Denison stands to rake in up to $1 million from Super Bowl week activities, Gould said.
Other parking companies are cashing in, too. A parking space across from the City Market downtown that normally goes for $6 will cost $99 on game day. Other lots or garages surveyed by the TV station ranged from $59 to $129 per parking space.
Prices vary based on distance from the stadium, the type and size of vehicles they can accommodate, and whether they allow tailgating or provide security.
Comments on the TV station’s website ranged as widely as parking prices.
"IT’S GOUGING! . . GOUGING . . . GOUGING!!!" one fan wrote. Another countered: "Let me introduce you all to a simple concept known as supply and demand."
Fans can, of course, watch the game for free on network TV. But if they absolutely have to attend the game in person, the Indianapolis Star reports that the city’s transportation system, IndyGo, will offer free rides on certain routes during Super Bowl weekend.
-- David Zucchino
Photo illustration: What would you pay to watch this being tossed in the Super Bowl? If you have to factor in parking, get out a calcuator. Credit: Greg Hister / Los Angeles Times