Elevating Venue Parking

11 May 2023
© Sam Fentress

This article by David Moore originally appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of Venue Professional.


If there is one takeaway from the 30 years I have spent in the planning, design, and operation of parking facilities, it would be that parking and related technologies should be at the forefront of the venue planning process. From my experiences, I recall numerous takeaways and lessons learned by venue owners, operators, and even the design consultants.

It might sound cliché, but I have become a firm believer in the following statement: “Parking is the first and last experience your customers will remember after attending your event.”

A perceived bad parking experience—whether real or not— may change an individual’s opinion of the event and possibly deter them from coming back. To provide the best possible overall parking experience for your customers, parking facility technology used at venue and stadium parking facilities is a critical aspect that should be considered for enhancing the overall fan experience. From quick and easy vehicular access into the parking facility, internal wayfinding so customers can locate the closest available parking space, and finally to a seamless exit, parking facility technology plays a critical role in ensuring attendees are satisfied with their parking experience.

There are a number of parking facility technology solutions and options that venue professionals should examine as it relates to the customer’s experience.

Online Parking Reservations

Online parking reservations have been around for many years. The most commonly known purpose is the ability to purchase and reserve parking online for a specific event or venue at the same time the event/venue tickets are purchased. Examples of online parking reservation services include companies such as Ticketmaster, StubHub, Vivid Seats, and others.

In addition, there are several other available “parking only” services to reserve a parking space for a specific event/venue. These services include services such as SpotHero, ParkWhiz, ParkMobile, ParkJockey, and others.

What are some of the benefits these services offer venue owners, parking operators, and customers?

Prepaid parking better secures the revenue collection process allowing money to be directly deposited into the desired financial institution. These services also provide data and tools to better manage occupancy in parking facilities for specific events as well as the opportunity to reduce onsite staff that may be required to collect parking fees.

Another benefit is that customers will have one less thing to be concerned about while planning and driving to the event. They can simply follow directions to the parking facility they have been assigned to and present the pre-issue credential—typically a barcode either by hardcopy or on a smart device—provided when parking was purchased. It also offers the opportunity to expedite the entry process when customers arrive at the designated parking facility with a quick and seamless transaction in the lane.

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