PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

FGCU Students Ticketed for Parking Near Arena


Florida Gulf Coast University now requires students living in dorms near its sports complex to move their cars during basketball games.

During basketball season, the parking areas around FGCU’s Alico Arena are packed with fans’ cars. However, you won’t likely see any cars belonging to students who live in dorms adjacent to the arena.

That’s because the University Police Department is issuing tickets to all students parked around the arena who don’t move their cars during games.

This has caused unrest among students who say they pay enough as it is in rent, and should have the right to park there.

Kelli Krebs got a ticket for leaving her car near her dorm at Alico Arena at the beginning of the season in November. The FGCU junior is also the opinion editor for the school’s newspaper. She said making students move for fans is harming the relationship between resident students and the university.

“It’s disappointing that the school would rather make money off of students,” said Krebs. “[They’re] giving them tickets for parking where they live instead of making these new bandwagon fans doing a little extra work to get to the games whether it’s paying for parking, shuttling them in, or even biting the bullet  and building a parking garage. It’s disappointing to see how the school is adjusting to all of this.”

Those bandwagon fans are the result of FGCU’s men’s basketball team reaching the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 in 2013.

University Police Chief Steven Moore said home games this year draw more than 4,500 fans to the arena versus 1,200 in 2012. He also said university police make sure to give plenty of warning when students have to move.

“They get a flyer that reminds them game day parking is in effect, to please move your cars,” said Moore.  “Here’s how it effects the shuttle buses and everything else. So they get a flyer each time that explains the process to them. The games are also posted on the sign as they come and go. We appreciate as much compliance as possible,” he said.

Chief Moore said the university is open to ideas of how to better improve this parking issue. He says building a new parking garage near the arena would be the ideal option, but due to the cost and scarcity of land it’s unlikely.

According to the most current records, university police have issued 195 game day parking citations but it’s unknown how many of those were issued to students.