The Sunflower

Wichita State adds $10 fee to ADA parking on game days

Wichita+State+fans+%22stripe+the+arena%22++black%2C+yellow%2C+and+white+Jan.+4.+in+Koch+Arena.
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Wichita State adds $10 fee to ADA parking on game days

Wichita State fans

Wichita State fans "stripe the arena" black, yellow, and white Jan. 4. in Koch Arena.

Matt Crow

Wichita State fans "stripe the arena" black, yellow, and white Jan. 4. in Koch Arena.

Matt Crow

Matt Crow

Wichita State fans "stripe the arena" black, yellow, and white Jan. 4. in Koch Arena.

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Those who typically use disability parking spots outside of Charles Koch Arena had to choose to either pay $10 to park their vehicle or walk in the cold, wintery rain Saturday night. 

The fee for ADA parking during men’s basketball games is a new rollout, Associate Athletic Director Brad Pittman said. Before this season, those with a disability tag could park in handicap spots directly outside the arena without a charge. 

“Basketball, what we sell, is an entertainment product,” Pittman said. “Parking is a part of that.”

The fee comes as a surprise to fans. Pittman assures that the fee is on-par with sister institutions.

The University of Kansas charges $25 per vehicle for ADA spaces during men’s basketball games, and Kansas State charges $10 per vehicle. Both institutions, Pittman said, have operated with these fees for more than 15 years.

“We didn’t feel like we were doing anything outrageous,” Pittman said.

The lots nearest to Koch Arena are reserved to those who pay annual SASO donations. The minimum yearly donation, Pittman said, is $3,700.

Pittman said the athletic department considered how they could “bring value” to donors who contribute thousands annually to the program.

“Is it fair that somebody donates $5,000/$10,000 to park there, and somebody can come up with a handicap permit and park for free?” Pittman said. “You can argue both sides of that coin.

“I hate rolling out the charges, but it’s not something that we’re doing that’s way different than our peers.”

Pittman clarified a mixup that caused fans Saturday to be denied the ability for a drop-off at the door. Drop-offs are still permitted, Pittman said.

“It’s troubling. It’s disappointing. It’s embarrassing,” Pittman said of the situation that occurred Saturday night. “There will be a focus and emphasis that those who had this issue won’t have that again.”

 

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About the Writer
Evan Pflugradt, Sports Editor

Evan Pflugradt is the Sports Editor of The Sunflower.

Pflugradt graduated from the Elliott School of Communication in spring 2017, and was recognized...

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