With the Ohio State football season gaining momentum, many fans are welcoming the team to Columbus for home games. With the home games, fans have another thing to think about: the cost of being a season parking-pass holder.
Some season parking-pass holders will be required to make a donation in order to receive the same level of parking access the next year. This donation can be made to the President’s Club by the end of the year or to the Buckeye Club by Feb. 1.
Because of campus construction, the parking lot at West 10th Avenue and Cannon Drive might be unusable during the 2016 season. This limits the space that can be used by parking-pass holders, thus leading to the increase in enforcement of the donation rule, said Jordan Birkemeier, director of the Buckeye Club.
A letter sent from the Buckeye and President’s clubs in March to season parking-pass holders detailed the donation requirements and the closure of the 10th and Cannon parking lot.
Birkemeier said that the donations are nothing out of the ordinary and that the fees and donations are necessary to hold a season parking permit.
“This is nothing new, this has been around for as long as I’ve been here that a donation is required for season parking; so it’s either $3,000 or $5,000 to the institution,” he said.
According to the Buckeye Club’s website, donations support student athlete scholarships. The President’s Club recognizes donors to the university for their contributions to various areas of need in the OSU community.
Birkemeier said he wished to assure season parking-pass holders that if they do not meet the required donation, they will not lose their pass.
“If someone does not make a qualified contribution, they won’t lose their season parking pass, they will just be moved to another lot that is a season-pass lot,” he said.
Jerry Vance, a graduate of the class of 1966 and avid tailgater, said he once was a season parking-pass holder.
“The first time I bought a parking pass it was $75,” Vance said, adding that this was in 1990. “I don’t mind the $375 price. But I think the $3,000 or $5,000 yearly gift to park is way out of line.”
Vance also said that the garages on game days where people buy passes are not always full, even during the Michigan game last year.
“I think they are trying to drive alumni away and keep them from tailgating, and the money they are charging is way over and above what it should be,” he said.
Karen Lane, a parking-pass holder of 35 years, said she agreed with Vance.
“It seems to me that the university is not supportive of those who are alums and the common fan, but rather the sources that it can obtain the most money,” Lane said.
The donation enforcements will not affect parking benefits for the 2015 football season.