Parking Fees High At Buffett Show

Fans attending Jimmy Buffett‘s concert at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park June 26th can expect to pay as much as $100 for spaces operated by the city’s Alco Parking Corporation, but the company’s president said fans were willing to fork out the cash.

The $100 fee is for a 500-capacity VIP lot, which is privately owned by Alco and located across the street from PNC Park. When Alco President Merrill Stabile learned that Buffett was coming to town, he decided to capitalize on the Mayor of Margaritaville’s Parrotheads.

“We were basically charging what we felt was the demand,” Stabile told Pollstar. “Granted, there’s a little bit of sticker shock but, at the same time, we’re selling them like crazy. We’re almost sold out.”

It marks the first concert Stabile has set such a high price for the private lot.

“If this were a situation where people drove in, parked their cars an hour of two before the concert and then left immediately thereafter, we wouldn’t be anywhere near that range,” he said. “But these people do a hell of a lot more there; they basically set up camp. … In that lot, we’re selling more than parking; we’re selling special arrangements.”

Another reason the fee is so high, Stabile explained, is because of a 50 percent-added parking fee tax implemented by the city of Pittsburgh. Apparently, the tax has put a strain on the company, forcing Stabile to seek alternative ways of making a buck.

“If we can get a large amount of money for a particular event, then we have to capitalize on it to compensate for the money we’ve lost,” he said. “And 500 spaces across from a park with 40,000 people paying over $120 for a ticket, we felt that was something the market could bear.”

According to the venue, tickets to the sold-out event range from $46 to $126.

Meanwhile, Stabile suggested that if fans don’t want to pay the parking fee, there are many alternatives. The surrounding area’s North Shore lots (owned and price-tagged by the city) charge $30, the same fee for a Steelers game. Parking is also offered downtown, which costs approximately $5 on a Sunday.

Stabile encourages concert-goers to park elsewhere.

“We recommend it because there aren’t enough parking spaces on the North Shore to accommodate all those people,” he said. “If anyone doesn’t want to pay those prices, they do have the option.”

As for the future, Stabile said the company will determine parking fees in the private lot on a case-by-case basis. He doubts, however, there’ll be a $100 fee for quite some time.

“We take a look at it each time,” he said. “The Rolling Stones are coming, and although they’re just as big and people are paying the same, if not more, for a ticket, it’s not the same partying crowd. So I don’t suspect we’ll be charging as much.”

Mitchell Peters