UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Concert goers are singing the blues after attending the Billy Joel concert this week.
They paid $40 just to park in the wide open lot outside the Nassau Coliseum.
“Outrageous. I remember paying like $10, but $40? It really limits people who can go enjoy a show, which in and of itself is expensive,” concert attendee Dale Pomeranz told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
Pomeranz was one of the thousands at the show who took to social media after paying double what it cost to park before the massive renovation. Comments included, “insanity,” “robbery,” “disgusting,” and “we should boycott.”
“I think it’s ridiculous,” one man said.
Legislators think the county can force operator Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment to change the rate.
“To double that rate is deplorable. The lease clearly states the rates for parking should be tied to market rates. Going from $20 to $40 is not a market rate,” Nassau County legislator, D-Plainview, Arnie Drucker said.
Especially considering you can park for free at other Nassau County venues.
The county gets nearly 13 percent of the new parking fees, so citizens’ advocate Jeff Gold calls it a hidden tax.
“There is no reason for them to make that kind of money off of county residents,” he said.
County Executive Ed Mangano told CBS2 he, “contacted the operator to express the frustration of residents over the exorbitant cost of parking.”
Two thousands of the spaces remain priced at $20 or less, but they go quickly online. The operator said the $40 fee is for premium events only, and defended the variable rates as not uncommon in the industry.
The Coliseum leaves fans with few other options. The closest train station is more than two miles away, and buses do run but not with the frequency of city venues.
Even Citi Field charges less to park, for $25 to $35. Yankee and Met Life Stadium are about the same at $30 to $40 and $30 for non-NFL events.
If you ditch the lot and take to local streets, that could cost you even more, if you get a ticket.
Parking for Friday night’s Idina Menzel concert will cost $30. In the future, parking will range between $5 and $40, depending on the event.