For last Thursday’s men’s basketball game, a Quinnipiac security officer told several commuter students driving to TD Bank Sports Center they needed to turn around, park in North Lot, and take a shuttle up to the arena in order to keep parking spaces available for the public. No such parking protocol was enforced for the two most recent basketball games at the Bank.
“If that’s really the only way that we’re going to be able to get up there I guess I would do that, but to me that makes no sense,” said Matt Messina, a senior living off campus that was turned around by a security officer before last Thursday’s game. “You should be able to drive up to York Hill. As a senior too, you should be able to do that.”
Chief of Security & Safety David Barger confirmed the parking protocol for game days at the Bank last Friday, but commuter students haven’t had problems parking at the Bank prior to last Thursday – not even for the most-attended game of the season, the Yale-Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey game on Feb. 18.
Messina’s car had a commuter parking sticker on his car that made him identifiable to the security guard.
“My roommate even said we were going to pick up a friend,” Messina said. “We were going to the game, but he said that he wouldn’t let us go up.”
Despite the security guard directing Messina to park in North Lot and take the shuttle to the game, Messina and his friends drove to the game with a friend who had a York Hill parking sticker.
Barger said the only time commuter students are allowed to park in front of TD Bank Sports Center is during the winter and spring breaks when shuttles are not provided from North Lot to York Hill.
Messina said he and his roommates drove to Saturday’s men’s basketball game against Fairleigh Dickinson 45 minutes prior to tipoff and no security officers stopped him from parking in front of the Bank. Messina has driven to at least five other games at the Bank this season, but only had trouble parking last Thursday when the men’s basketball team hosted Monmouth.
There are 780 spots at the surface parking in front of TD Bank Sports Center, Barger said, and the general public also is permitted to park in York Hill’s parking garage, which has a capacity of 1,985.
Barger said the parking protocol for commuters is the same no matter the team playing.
Home attendance figures have increased for each of Quinnipiac’s four winter teams in the 2010-11 season, according to Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald, but individual game attendance has ranged from 200 to nearly 4,000 fans.
“It’s an evolving process,” McDonald said. “We want as many students to come to the game as possible. Unfortunately, there’s not all the spaces possible. People were parked all the way down to the hill to the big turn (for the Yale-QU men’s ice hockey game). We probably had a thousand students here that night. If they all came in a car we’d be parking from here to New Haven.”
Students living in Quinnipiac-owned housing on Kimberly Ave., however, are allowed to park in York Hill’s parking garage and then walk to the arena, according to Barger. These students enter the garage through its back entrance and allows Quinnipiac to plow their driveways.
“That has been the only exception,” Barger said. “I’d like to see it done every winter. Kimberly is one of the secondary roads here in town and it really doesn’t get the attention that it should in a timely fashion.”