NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is growing pressure from Long Island lawmakers and residents to lower the parking rate for special events at the new Nassau Coliseum.
After the venue’s inaugural concert with Billy Joel, County Executive Ed Mangano received countless complaints over the $40 special events parking fee.
“Outrageous,” said concert attendee Dale Pomeranz. “I remember paying $10, but $40? It really limits people who can go enjoy a show, which in and of itself is expensive.”
“$40 for parking, it’s insane,” said Long Island resident Julie Greenstein. “It’s gonna keep people from going to events.”
County Legislator Siela Bynoe, D-Westbury, and others worry concert goers will start parking in neighborhoods and businesses across busy Hempstead Turnpike.
“It’s our concern that as they look for alternative parking, we might be placing people in jeopardy,” she told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell.
Two days after the concert, Mangano told CBS2 he sent a letter to the operator, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, saying he, “contacted the operator to express the frustration of residents over the exorbitant cost of parking.”
Brett Yormark, the CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, said their “parking fees are priced fairly and competitively, with family shows ranging from $5 to $15 and concerts at $30.”
“Special events, which occur on a limited basis, are $40 on site. However, for both concerts and special events, over a third of the parking capacity is available for pre-purchase online at just $20. We are also planning to add an additional 1,000 online pre-paid $20 passes for special events,” Yormark said in a statement. “We continue to encourage event-goers to take advantage of the pre-paid parking rate at nycblive.com/parking, which has not been fully utilized to date.”
But Bynoe said “we think that there’s more that can be done.”
“To double the rate is deplorable,” said Nassau County legislator Arnie Drucker, D-Plainview. “The lease clearly states the rates for parking should be tied to market rates. Going from $20 to $40 is not market rate.”
In response to the unhappy lawmakers, the county executive says they are the ones who unanimously approved the contract with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment back in 2013, Burrell reported.
The lawmakers say many of them now serving were not in office at that time and never imagined the prices would reach $40.
Mangano told Newsday he is considering providing capital funding for buses from the Long Island Rail Road station and pedestrian bridges to the Coliseum so people who don’t use the lot aren’t forced to cross busy Hempstead Turnpike, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
The county gets nearly 13 percent of the parking fees.