Fans react to $30 parking meters during College World Series

$30 parking meters in downtown Omaha for the College World Series.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 6:53 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - For those trying to park near the stadium for the College World Series, you’ve probably noticed something new: Parking meters charging $30.

The fee is good for up to 12 hours.

The city claims it’s so fans don’t get ticketed for expired two and three-hour meters near the stadium.

Not everyone is a fan of the change.

Usually finding a parking spot in Omaha isn’t a big deal, but that changes when the College World Series — or other events — comes to town.

“It took us, what, 15 minutes to get a spot. So, just glad to find a spot,” said Garner Wilson of Lincoln.

“I’m glad it was open because we pulled down here, and they were already taken, so it was pretty good. I’m not going to gripe about it,” said Amy Grace from Oklahoma.

Just how much you pay to park depends on which corner you stand on.

Beginning this year, Park Omaha flagged 154 meters close to the stadium with a $30 charge for up to 12 hours.

The goal is fan convenience, but some are calling it price gouging.

“I don’t like it, I think it’s wrong,” said Dean Woods of Council Bluffs. “But what are we going to do about it?”

“Yeah, there’s a little price gouging in it,” Jackson Grace of Oklahoma said. “You have to do what you have to do to make money.”

“I think it’s awful, especially at my age trying to walk,” said Katie Woods of Council Bluffs.

Susan Bielemeier from Oregon said her group found a lot for $15.

“We just drove around the block and kind of took an average probably and said, ‘OK this one’s got lots of spots; it’s closer to the stadium,’ and so it was good enough. That’s what we think,” she said.

Across the street, lot parking was $20. Right across the street from the $30 meters were other 10-hour meters — Todd Morehead of Papillion paid $1.25 for five hours.

“It’s always difficult this time of year with the CWS you just kind of get what you get,” he said. “We just kind of got fortunate, we saw it just figured well pull in there and pay whatever it is. It’s not $30.”

There are other options, like circulating buses and even scooters if you don’t want to plug a meter. The $30 meters do give fans time to enjoy the games without worrying about getting a ticket for an expired meter — that could result in a $48 ticket, or the vehicle could even be towed.

“I don’t know if it’s reasonable or not, but it’s what you pay and you’re stuck with it,” Garner Wilson said.

Ken Smith of Park Omaha tells 6 News most of the 154 meters priced at $30 for 12 hours are two and three-hour meters. He said the majority of those parking near the stadium stay for an extended period of time, and this provides a more convenient way for them to avoid parking tickets.

“Well, it worked for us,” said Cole Bures of O’Dell, Neb. “It was the first one we found that was available for the public since they closed the public parking lot northeast of us. So I guess it is what it is.”

The reserved parking spot prices will expire after the event ends, but Park Omaha says this is how event parking in this area will be handled from now on.

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