Lots bank on bucks
Some OSU game-day parking boosts charities, churches
Saturday, September 20, 2008 3:20 AM
By Joe Blundo
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Parking at an Ohio State football game isn’t cheap, but it can be socially responsible.
Fans might support Special Olympics, wetlands restoration, recreation classes, medical students, widows and various other causes by choosing lots run by several fortunately located agencies, churches and charities.
“Last year, we raised almost $30,000,” said Dee Hively, Special Olympics director for the Franklin County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
The fundraising will continue today, when Ohio State hosts Troy University at noon in Ohio Stadium.
Hively’s organization runs a 700-car lot at ARC Industries West, a training and work site at 250 W. Dodridge St. for mentally disabled adults.
Spectators pay $10 (or $70 for a season pass) to use the lot, about a mile north of Ohio Stadium.
The spaces often fill up, but there’s competition next door.
The Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, also on Dodridge Street, charges $10 to park on its grounds, holding about 200 cars.
Wetlands absorb carbon dioxide — the gas that comes from, among other things, the fossil fuels burned while driving.
So fans of OSU can compensate for their contribution to global warming by parking at the 50-acre wetlands.
“The money they pay for parking goes directly to the graduate student who is doing the research,” said William Mitsch, director of the park.
The wetlands park is one of the few OSU facilities not run by its Transportation and Parking Department.
The university has about 35,000 game-day parking spaces, most of which cost $10. (Some season-ticket holders pay $280 to park for the season in prized locations such as the stadium lot; RV parking costs $90 a game.)
Game-day parking revenue — about $1.1 million last year — pays for expenses, maintenance and improvements for the lots, said Sarah Blouch, director of transportation and parking.
The lots are used by students, faculty members and visitors except on home-game days, when they turn into tailgating venues.
Parking for Charity
September 21, 2008 by John