On-campus stadium to eliminate parking spots, CSU will add more parking options

Video by Kaitlyn Connolly

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The new stadium construction will eliminate 1500 parking spots. To remedy this, Colorado State University is building new parking facilities on campus and the city of Fort Collins is developing plans to regulate game day traffic.

Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications Mike Hooker said that the stadium construction will cause parking lots 240, 515 and 505 to be removed. Hooker said that the University is waiting for approval to construct two new parking facilities.

The first will be a parking lot and is planned for the University Tennis Complex on Research Drive. This lot, if approved, will be completed by August 2015 and provide 870 spots.

The second facility, a garage, will be located in University Square, near the Alumni Center. According to Hooker, this garage is still in the initial planning phase and still needs to be approved.

“Timing for the garage construction is still under review, but we are aiming to have it completed before the stadium opens for its first game,” Hooker said.

According to Fort Collins Parking Services Manager Randy Hensley, the city has a parking permit system in place in three residential areas. One of these is the Sheely subdivision, located near the site of the new stadium.

“Basically, if you’re a student looking for a free place to park, you’re not going to get a permit, unless you live in that neighborhood,” Hensley said.

The fine for parking in these neighborhoods will be $25. Hensley said this fine may not prevent students from parking in residential areas, especially in the Sheely neighborhood.

“People might consider that cheap parking to be able to park close to the stadium,” Hensley said.

To prevent students from parking there, the city may institute a tow away program, which has been effective in other college towns and near the Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, according to Hensley.

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While there will be parking restrictions on public land, Hensley said that the city does not control parking on private land, like business establishments.

“People may park in the Kmart parking lot or in the Chuck E. Cheese parking lot, whether or not those businesses allow people to park there and go to the game is up to them,” Hensley said. “In other college towns, that sort of thing does happen.”

Hensley said that he is confident CSU will have adequate parking for students.

“I’m very comfortable that they (CSU) will have lots of parking that they’re going to provide,” Hensley said.

Hooker said that while they are planning on having plenty of parking for students year round, it is important to continue using alternative forms of transportation.

“Use Transfort, use MAX, use bikes,” Hooker said. “All those ways are important to how we get around.”

Hooker said that CSU is working with the city to ensure game day traffic and parking runs smoothly.

Joe Olson, Fort Collins city traffic engineer, said that there are no definite plans in place yet to handle the game day traffic.

“We’re working with CSU to identify plans and improvements related to the stadium,” Olson said.

Collegian City Beat Reporter Sady Swanson and Diversity Beat Reporter Hannah Ditzenberger can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @sadyswan and @h_ditzenberger.

CTV News Reporter Kaitlyn Connolly can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @CTVkaitlyn