Air Force plans to charge for parking at football games

March 1, 2014 Updated: March 1, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Parking at Air Force football games will no longer be free.

The details of the plan, including price and number of lots that will require payment, are being worked out, but season-ticket holders were informed of the coming change in an email this past week that also outlined a new structure in the cost of seats.

"We're looking at ways to increase revenue, and one of those is parking at the stadium," said Dermot Coll, CEO of the Air Force Academy Athletic Corp. "We get a lot of phone calls for people looking to buy tickets and they say, 'Well, how much is parking?' So there are a lot of people who are expecting to pay for parking."

Coll said the Falcons had charged for parking more than 10 years ago, but "didn't do it well." Assuming it works out this time around, he said the extra money will stay within athletics and perhaps be used for projects like renovations to Falcon Stadium or to pave the parking lots at the stadium.

"We would like to be able to reinvest it in things for our fans to create a better experience for them," Coll said.

"Right now, especially with the dirt parking lots, it's tough."

Part of that experience will also include cheaper rates for seats generally considered more desirable. A new pay structure divides the stadium into three tiers as you go up from the field.

The old structure also changed prices based on proximity to the 50-yard line, so the seats in the center part of the field (and most visible to television cameras) would often remain unfilled.

"We blew up the old model," Coll said. "And the majority of ticket prices went down."

Season-ticket holders received the email Wednesday. Coll said the reaction has thus far been positive.

"It's been good so far," Coll said. "We haven't heard a whole lot of push back on the parking piece and people are excited about the new seating structure."

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