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.

  • vnm

    Ha ha ha! This implies that a Very Important Person – a member of the city council – would deign to ride transit, where he could come into actual, direct contact with his constituents.

    Is this bill aimed to improve life for this guy’s constituents, who would probably take transit anyway, or at himself and other members of the city council?

  • The funny thing is that if the free market were allowed to operate, the price really would be $150 and they would not have to go through the chirade of saying that it is full. Free market pricing eliminates a lot of these illegal blackmarket operations from happening. The real question CM Monserrate is which he was more offended by, the price or the blackmarket activity.

    It would seem that as in the rest of life, there are no free lunches. And as a basic law of economics, if you cap prices, you get excess demand (full garages, blackmarkets). Market based pricing eliminates blackmarkets and full garages, but of course that’s “elitist”…

  • seriously

    What? There’s a law capping parking rates? Someone get McCaffrey on the job.

  • Given how politically safe it is to call for price caps (or against “gouging”) it’s amazing we’ve made it this far without falling into a command economy. Thank God for the elitists who wrote the constitution, instituted capitalism, and all that back when it was okay to be a thinking person.

  • Henry ictmann

    No one should have to pay $150 to park at a game, not even a politician. The Parking Lot folks raise prices during playoffs. A moderate increase perhaps would be acceptable but thats not what they do, they are excessive. Govt should protect against excesses. Salute to the Met Fan Legislator who also cheers for the Yanks!!!

  • Budrick

    No one should have to pay $1700 for a flight to Tahiti, not even a politican. The Airline folks raise prices during the Vacation season or if you buy the ticket less than a week in advance. A moderate increase perhaps would be acceptable but that’s not what they do, they are excessive. Govt should protect against excesses.

  • Dane

    No one should have to pay $6 for a beer at a bar. During Happy Hour beer is $2. Beer should be $2 all the time.

  • Dane Fan

    Dane iS WISE man!!!
    But being screwed by some slime ball charging $150 is just wrong.

  • Jose Nivar

    The same thing happened to me quite a few times in the Bronx. But what I don’t get is If you park at Shea, the price is generally $14.00 all year around. But in the Bronx it’s a free for all. And I remember some guy who parked the cars at a Central Garage told me the same thing, and then he said to me “what are you going to do about it, report me” as if the athority is involved with it. Now thinking about it there were a few Police officers right on the corner directing traffic, who knows maybe they are all involved in taking advantage of a true fan of the Game.
    Hey it takes a Met’s fan Councilman from Queens to propose a Bill, what the hect happened to the council in the Bronx, are they okay with the free for all?


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