Bengals fans outraged by $70 parking fee for game: Why it got so expensive

Some Cincinnati Bengals fans are upset this week, and not just because of that opening game loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rather, they’re upset with parking prices that are up sharply, at least in one major garage next to Paycor Stadium.

David Roberts of Dayton, Ohio drove down to see the game Sunday morning, and could not believe the sign he saw outside the Central Riverfront Garage, the garage directly under the Cincinnati Reds ballpark that he used several times last year.

“Under Great American Ball Park, parking had gone from $40 in the preseason to $70 on game day,” he said.

He was so stunned by the price hike he posted on his Facebook account a photo of two prices at the ballpark garage: $40 for the preseason game he attended last month, and $70 for the regular season game of the season, a $30 price hike.

Garage charged only $20 last year

Ironically, he says he took the $40 photo in August because that was double the $20 price he paid last year, and he was frustrated when it doubled from $20 to $40.

“I thought there would be some price hikes with the Super Bowl and all that, but not $50,” he said.

On Monday, we returned to the Central Riverfront Garage, which is owned by Hamilton County.

But now that the Reds are back in town for the week, parking prices were back down to just $20 in the garage, the Bengals price from last season.

So was someone just trying to cash in on Bengals fever?

We spoke to several workers, but no one working at the garage Monday knew anything about Sunday’s price hike.

Our call and email to the Bengals media department received no response.

But Hamilton County’s Director of Stadium Parking, Joe Feldkamp, told us in a statement:

Parking for the stadium garages are set by the Bengals, not the county. The Bengals pre-sold all riverfront properties this year, but held back some spaces for day-of cash purchase, which is $70 this year compared to $20 last year.”

He said any further statement behind the decision would have to come from the team.

It appears it all came down to supply and demand, and last year’s half empty garages are now almost entirely full due to the Bengals’ Super Bowl trip.

It’s the same reason Bengals game tickets, that used to start around $50 in the secondary market, now start at nearly $200.

What you can do

David Roberts says he refused to pay $70, so he drove a few blocks, and found parking for $20 by the I-71 underpass, the same price as last year.

Looking for parking for an upcoming Bengals game, or any other downtown event?

Look around, or check parking sites like Spot Hero, where you can reserve and prepay for a specific lot, and not have to worry about finding a space.

This is a “Don’t Waste Your Money” story from our content partners at WCPO.

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