By Grace Potts
Bellarmine commuters will have to move their cars three hours before home basketball games due to a new reserved parking program.
Parking lots in front of and next to Knights Hall, formally known as L2a and L2b, will be blocked by barricades, creating reserved parking areas for fans willing to pay for premium parking.
Director of Public Safety Debbie Fox said there are 276 spaces in the two lots that will be used for reserved parking, although all the spaces may not be sold.
Assistant Athletics Director for Event Management Chris Cooper declined to comment on how many spots fans had purchased.
“It’s a growing initiative as people are buying passes daily, so any number I’d give you would be outdated almost immediately,” he said.
Fox said if students do not move their cars from the lot three hours before tip-off of the first game, they could face a $40 ticket and, very rarely, a tow to another location on campus. She said campus security will often make courtesy phone calls to students before towing a vehicle or writing a ticket.
To help students who must move their cars to lots farther from their classroom buildings, Fox said there will be an increase in shuttles.
Cooper said: “I know there’s some fear and there’s probably going to be some pushback from it, and I understand that, but I think as we go farther it’s going to be less and less of an inconvenience to everybody.”
Cooper said reserved parking was created because the university wanted to add value to Bellarmine during a time when the university is searching for income.
“Where the university is, a lot of departments, a lot of areas, are asked to find new revenue streams,” he said. “Rather than just, one, put it on the backs of the students — we didn’t want to do that — and, two, we wanted to actually add value, not just raise ticket prices.”
Cooper said the first row in front of Knights Hall is a premium parking tier, costing $350 for the season, and all of those reserved spaces are sold. The rest of the spaces are $175. Those who have purchased reserved spaces will receive a hanging tag to place on the rearview mirror of their car.
The target audience was the university’s season ticket holders, but anyone can buy a reserved space, Cooper said.
“If a student wanted to buy a parking pass for games, I’ll let them, you know, I’ll take their money,” he said.
Cooper said the university is also offering single-game $10 passes.
“So, if it’s raining and you don’t want to walk, somebody can just pay $10 for the one day and get access to the lot. You know, I’ll take their money too,” he said.