As Juan pointed out in a late night FanShot, Either the Purdue athletic department or the University in general has made the brilliant move to piss off the few Purdue Football fans that are left by charging $10 to park on game days in the University Street garage or the Northwestern Avenue garage. Both of these parking garages have been free to park in for decades. They are still a decent walk from the stadium and my own family has parked in the Northwestern garage for years. It doesn't matter though. The loss of thousands of fans due to a poor product on the field means a loss of revenue, and Purdue needs some more of that sweet, sweet cheddar back. Nevermind the millions it gets from the Big Ten. Instead of charging when there was demand, say, when Purdue regularly had 60,000+ in the stands from 1997-2004, they have decided to charge now, when there may be games this fall where we will be lucky to have 30,000 people in the stands.
Reducing the stadium seating wasn't enough.
Actually selling alcohol wasn't raising enough money.
Lower ticket prices to the level of HS games wasn't enough.
The idea of making football a priority and the athletic department as a whole trying to put a good product on the field was too radical.
So yes, Purdue is actively trying to piss off its remaining fans now. It is even more chickenshit to slide it through in a late night article from the Purdue Exponent just 10 days before the first home game so no one will notice.
We talked about it last night in the H&R Group Text message, and there are dozens of untapped ways to raise more revenue from an already angry fanbase. What is the best way?
**UPDATE from Juan 5:13pm 9/3/2015***
We contacted Holly Alexander and Robert Wynkoop at Purdue regarding this situation, and here was their response:
The $10 charge for game day parking was implemented by Parking Services to assist in covering the costs associated with the maintenance and repair for Purdue’s parking garage facilities. Current fees for weekly permits do not cover the overall cost of maintenance and repair on the garages, especially in those that are used heavily for athletics and special events and require additional cleaning after a game day. This is simply an effort to help cover those costs.It’s important to note that there is still plenty of free fan parking on game day. The Wood Street Garage at 120 S. Grant Street, the Marsteller Street Garage at 112 Marsteller Street and the Harrison Street Garage at 719 Clinic Drive are all available for free weekend parking without purchasing a pass. The Armory parking lot is also available. The Grant Street Garage at 120 N. Grant Street is available on weekends to "A" permit holders and to visitors for payment by the hour.
I guess I see their reasoning. Having many people use the lot during the off hours could lead to an extra mess that needs to be taken of, meaning you have to pay your employees overtime or have them shift their typical tasks to finish the job first thing Monday. Plus, there might be some benefit as this prevents the garage from overflowing (as there are no gates or monitors at the entrance and exits of these garages).
Personally, I still don't like it, I think this is just bad time given attendance, but I understand their reasoning. There was no mention of this also being implemented during basketball season, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens. At this point, we just need to cool down and move on.