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Springfield Cardinals ‘extremely disappointed’ over parking prices at two sites for upcoming season

(KSPR)
Published: May. 1, 2021 at 12:08 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Days away from 2021 Minor League Baseball season, the Springfield Cardinals warn fans of some high parking prices for the upcoming season.

The Springfield Cardinals released a statement Friday night saying the organization was “extremely disappointed” over prices planned for two parking areas near Hammons Field. The team does not own or operate parking lots that surround the stadium.

Two of the closer parking options include a parking lot south of the stadium between East Trafficway Street and St. Louis Street and a parking garage a few blocks west near the Expo Center. The properties are owned by Atrium Hospitality and JD Holdings.

According to the Springfield Cardinals statement, both parking areas plan to charge $20 for every game this season.

The statement adds: “As recently as last week the Cardinals were led to believe that the price for this season was going to be $15 for all games. While this amount is still high, the Cardinals feel the actions by Atrium Hospitality and JD Holdings to further increase rates to $20 are intentional, purposeful and hurtful to fans, once again waiting until right before the home opener to communicate this outrageous price.”

FULL STATEMENT:

While the Springfield Cardinals did not play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has expressed concerns over parking for ballgames dating back to the 2019 season.

During the 2019 season, two privately-owned parking lots, owned by JD Holdings LLC and Plaza Realty & Management Services, charged $14 for Monday-Thursday games and $20 for weekend games to park close to the stadium. In previous years, both sites offered gameday parking for $7.

In February 2020, the Springfield Cardinals franchise filed a lawsuit against the John Q. Hammons Trust Fund and investment firm, JD Holdings, the entities took over as landlords for the stadium and parking lot south of the stadium following Hammons’ death and subsequent bankruptcy proceedings.

The lawsuit, filed in Greene County, accuses the trust holders of “gauging fans” for parking and letting the stadium upkeep lapse to the point where it is no longer in the top 25% of Texas League ballparks. That stipulation was part of the Cardinals agreement with the JQH Trust Fund.

The long list of improvements that the Cardinals have been asking for from their landlords would total more than $8 million.

In past seasons, there were other parking options available at a lower price or free that required a longer walk to Hammons Field. These included spots at Jordan Valley Ice Park, Ebbets Field Bar and Grill and Ozarks Technical College.

Two years ago, in an effort to draw fans, the Cardinals offered a free shuttle service ran to-and-from the stadium for one of the free parking sites at Ozarks Technical College. However, the Cardinals are not planning to offer such a service to start the new season due to pandemic precautions.

According to Friday’s statement, the Springfield Cardinals franchise has “immediately requested discounted parking for disabled fans, but Springfield Parking Company, the managing entity for 2021, could only comment that decisions on pricing were ultimately decided by Atrium Hospitality.”

Fans with parking concerns can contact the Cardinals Ticket Information line at 417-832-3097 for more information.

The new Springfield Cardinals season begins Tuesday, May 4. The Cardinals will host the Wichita Wind Surge in Tuesday’s home opener with the first pitch at 6:35 p.m.

It will mark the first Springfield Cardinals game at Hammons Field since September 2019. The stadium will follow several pandemic-related precautions to allow fans back into the stadium, including masking at all times except when actively eating or drinking.

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