Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Parking at Oregon Football Games

A few months ago the Athletic Department at the University of Oregon decided to add men's baseball as a new sport and to build a baseball park in the north east section of the Autzen Stadium (football) parking lot. (Just out of view in the above picture at the bottom to your right). As a result there will be less parking for football games and less tailgating before the game. Because of the loss of parking the Athletic Department is reshuffling every parking spot at Autzen and this has upset a lot of people. Just about everyone who has a reserved spot will be moved. I can understand fans being upset but some are sounding like cry baby's. College football and athletics has become big business. Back in the days Oregon would usually have a losing season and 35,000 people was a big crowd there was plenty of space for parking. My dad, a non donor, always was able to get his RV into the parking lot and close to the stadium. However, with the building of the Cas Center,the Mo. Indoor Practice Facility, the soccer field, the football practice field and now the new baseball park, all in what used to be the Autzen parking lot, parking will now be left for only the largest donors. In most cases $5000 for RV parking and $3500 for a car parking space.I haven't been able to park at Autzen or have a tailgate party there for the last 10 years. I have learned to park across the river and take the foot bridge and have started new traditions. There will still be places to park they just won't be in the Autzen parking lot. Once the baseball park is built there will be opportunities for pre game functions there as well.It's time Oregon Duck Fans grew up and realized that to be self sustaining in today's college sports market their needs to be changes and AD Pat Kilkenny is doing a great job. I hope he stays a long long time. He is willing to take bold action that's necessary in today's sports market. One of our best Athletic Directors, Bill Byrne had a similar problem when he moved on to Nebraska and upset the Huskers with his big business ideas. Nebraska fans gave him the nick name of "Dollar Bill Byrne". So let's spend more time worrying who will be our starting quarterback than where we will park our car. Go Ducks!