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Hiram Monserrate

Council Member Addresses Stadium Parking Fee Crisis

As City Council Member Jessica Lappin trains her sights on businesses that employ bike delivery workers, her colleague from Queens, Hiram Monserrate, has vowed to take on another pressing issue: making it cheaper for people to drive to sports stadiums.

hm_headshot_best.jpgOn Wednesday Monserrate announced that he is submitting a "consumer protection bill" to end "price-gouging at or around NYC sports arenas." Specifically, the bill would set standard fees across the city and impose penalties for exceeding them during "special events," like baseball playoff series.

From Monserrate's press release:

Councilmember Monserrate decided to introduce the bill after he joined with friends to attend Sunday's post-season baseball game between the NY Yankees and the Cleveland Indians. He observed a dramatic increase in parking fees around Yankee stadium to $50 and even attempts to charge up to $150 by unscrupulous operators.

"As a Met Fan from Queens, I decided to attend [read: drive to] last Sunday's game and show some support to our other New York Team, the NY Yankees. I observed several lots with Parking Lot Full signs, all operated by Central Parking Company. They were advertising a $50.00 fee to park. Shockingly, and to add insult to injury, one particular lot (also operated by Central) had a "FULL" sign in front but the attendants told me if I paid $150.00 they would park my car," Monserrate said.

He added, "As we look forward to both the NY Mets and NY Yankees playing in next year's post-season, we need to enact consumer protections against price-gouging for New York fans. While New Yorkers cheer for the hometown teams our City needs to protect us from price-gouging parking lot operators who unfairly take advantage of NY fans."

So, to Monserrate, being asked to pay market rates for auto storage at a sporting event that is accessible by transit qualifies as an "insult."

The council member might want to check with the Yankees before tightening up those fees too much. They're going to need all the revenue they can get.

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