My wife and I both attended Butler and have followed Butler football closely for years, attending all home games we could. Several years, including this one, we were season ticket holders.
The new stadium is a beautiful addition to our city and is really nice....BUT...it was poorly planned and is being even more poorly managed by the college, the parking employees and the security staff.
We have yet to attend a game without a hassle from one or all of those entities. First of all, parking is a nightmare.
A 6,000 seat stadium should have been planned with more on-site parking. I am handicapped and have a handicapped parking permit.
There are only 27 handicapped parking stalls and the first two games, we got there early enough that there were open handicapped stalls, BUT...unless you are wealthy enough, know the right people or considered “important” enough, we were told they were all in the “VIP parking area”...which occupies virtually the entire lot in front of the stadium.
Unless you are one of those select few, you have to park across Haverhill Road as the few remaining “public” spots fill quickly.
The parking lot folks were very rude when I tried to explain I had braces on my legs and walked with a cane and had a permit for one of those open handicapped stalls.
You are left to parking in one of the huckster’s lots that charge $5 to park in a field across Haverhill or taking your chances on catching a shuttle from the college, which are normally so full you end up walking anyway.
After making a complaint to the college and filing an ADA complaint with the Dept. of Justice (handicapped stalls MUST be available for the public with a permit), the last time the parking folks were a bit friendlier when they told us we could not park in “VIP Parking.”
Crossing Haverhill, when you are handicapped and not too speedy, is taking your life into your own hands with the truck and other vehicle traffic. I have seen several near misses and it is only a matter of time before we have a tragedy. Why on earth would you build such a nice facility and not provide for adequate parking...and why would you restrict most of the lot for “VIP” parking?
My complaint with the DOJ will take a couple of months before the local federal attorney can prosecute it, but I hope it ends up changing the illegal practice of roping off all of the handicapped stalls.
I have had several folks tell me that their cars were towed, even though they showed up to move them when an announcement was made and they beat the tow truck.
Page 2 of 2 - Wrecker drivers blocked them in and refused to allow them to move their cars because they only get paid if they tow, not if they just show up. This is no way to treat loyal Butler fans.
The vast majority of us, especially those of us on fixed income, cannot afford to be VIPs, and we don’t happen to know the right people or be in the “right” position in the community.
Also, at the last game, my wife bought a Gatorade at half time at the concession stand, we stepped outside the gate for a few minutes, and when we came back in she was rudely informed by security she could not bring her Gatorade back in...even though she bought it there. By that time I’d had enough and we just went on in anyway.
I almost expected to be knocked down, searched and arrested the way they were showing their “authority” over us.
I hope someone with the college is hearing enough from the community to make some changes. My little voice obviously isn’t “VIPPY” enough!
- Steve Gladfelter, El Dorado