A rich tradition flows through the walls of Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Bramlage Coliseum, both familiar homes to the K-State Wildcats. However, before the band can perform and before the student section can sway to the Wabash Cannonball, most game-goers have one thing in common: They must park.
The Jardine Apartments, located south of the east stadium lot where many game-goers park, are highly staffed by Housing and Dining Services during football games to avoid an overabundance of non-Jardine residence permitted vehicles; however, the men’s basketball games might be falling by the wayside, according to residents of the apartments.
Nick Lander, interim associate director for residence life at K-State, said Housing and Dining Services take precautions during football games, but not for basketball games primarily because of sheer volume.
“You have a lot fewer people coming to basketball games than football,” Lander said. “There are 50,000 people who go to football games, plus all the other people who are around and don’t make it in the stadium. If Bramlage is full, you’re only talking about 12,000 people coming to the game and they typically aren’t doing pregame stuff.”
Safety is another reason that more precautions are taken during football games.
“The activities around a football game day are different,” Lander said. “With tailgating we have had times where people come through and need assistance and so it’s very important that we have people available to contact police or EMTs or whoever may need assistance for that.”
At least one resident is not sure that parking for basketball should be dismissed so easily, and he said he knows of others who feel the same.
Conner Bruns, senior in landscape architecture, said he is frustrated when he pays for a Jardine parking permit, but sometimes struggles to find a spot in the J lot.
“It’s kind of unfair to the residents that we purchase a year pass and it’s expensive,” Bruns said. “Then it’s frustrating if you pay for that and can’t find parking.”
Not all basketball games draw the large crowds that lead to parking issues in Jardine’s lot, though. Bruns said that it seems to him that it depends on the time of the game, but he has seen evening games have an impact on parking in Jardine.
“When I get out of class around 4 or 5 p.m. and I’m trying to get home, everyone is trying to get to the game,” Bruns said. “I pretty much always manage to weasel my way into a spot. Sometimes it is full so you just have to sort of drive around and stalk the parking stalls until someone leaves.”
Bruns also said that it seems weekend games are more crowded, depending on who K-State is playing, “like if it is a big rivalry game,” Bruns said.
Chelsea Dixon, graduate student in biological and agricultural engineering, said she doesn’t often see much of a problem during basketball.
“I think people who live towards the Rec on the north side or back up to the Bramlage parking are probably more affected when other people think they can just park in the Jardine lot and walk over, avoiding the parking fee at Bramlage,” Dixon said.
Dixon said she has observed a lot of recurring empty spots in those areas of the lot, and she understands why people think it is okay to park there during sporting events.
“I think they have the signs posted that the Jardine parking is patrolled 24/7 and that it’s just permit only, but I, in all my two years there, I think I have seen them ticketing maybe two or three times,” Dixon said.
Parking Services’ role
Darwin Abbott, director of Parking Services said that Jardine’s lots are patrolled 24/7, unlike most lots on campus which are patrolled 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. When non-K-State permitted vehicles park in a parking lot requiring a permit, the resulting ticket from Parking Services is $50, which Abbot said is much more than paying to park elsewhere.
“We have not heard complaints from anyone who lives there, but we go there every time there is a basketball game and enforce the rules,” Abbott said.
On a day-to-day basis, Abbott said that Jardine parking lot is not a “hot spot” for parking offenders, but that the lot is often patrolled two to three times per day.
“We don’t add extra patrol to game days, but emphasis is made on the dorms and residence hall lots,” Abbott said.
Abbott echoed Lander in saying that the volume of those attending basketball is much less than football, causing basketball to be a non-issue.
“One of the problems is though, that after 5 p.m., residents can’t call here and complain if there are a lot of people violating the rules,” Abbott said. “In that case, they have to call the police.”
In an email interview, Ronnie Grice, K-State Chief of Police, said the police department plays no role in parking enforcement for anyone during basketball or football game days. He said that when calls are taken, officers on regular patrol who are not assigned to the event will check on the complaint and take whatever enforcement action that is necessary.
“We do write quite a few tickets, but I would venture that we probably are inconveniencing residents who can’t find parking close to their apartment, but we are not displacing them from parking in the lots around Jardine,” Abbott said, adding that the situation might have changed without his knowledge.
If problems have escalated to where residents are truly experiencing a problem, Lander said that residents should reach out to Housing and Dining Services.
“We want to hear from them,” he said. “That way we can get a better idea of the exact details, what date are we looking at, what time was it, what parking lot was it, if there is a certain area that is a major issue, then maybe there is something we can do to address it.”