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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Florida the rules are different here Chapter XVII

Would you believe a $5 charge for people who walk to Florida Panther hockey games.

Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Panthers and operates the Broward County-owned arena, is instituting the charge to reduce traffic jams created by the volume of fans walking to the arena. Panthers Chief Operating Officer Michael Yormark informed season ticket-holders of the new policy in an e-mail last week.


The company plans to install a pedestrian entrance between Gates 5 and 6, but has not determined what kind of structure will keep fans from just walking onto the property. A drop-off area exists for fans arriving by buses and taxis, but several details still need to be worked out, such as how to avoid charging fans who live nearby and walk to the arena.


Season ticket-holder parking passes cost $10 a game; day of game and concert parking is $15. The first 200 Lexus drivers park free.

Yormark said the new fee is not about generating more revenue for the team. Instead, all the fees will go to different charities that will be on site to collect it at each event. Fans will receive a receipt.


Sawgrass Mills has not monitored the parking lot to determine if it's an issue.

"So far, we've not received any complaints from tenants that they are losing parking spots," said Jim Roberts, Sawgrass Mills regional marketing director.

At least one restaurant is worried about the new fee.

"It will be horrible for us. Our business ebbs and flows with the events at the arena," said Howard Levine, vice president of Cheeburger Restaurant Management, which operates the Cheeburger Cheeburger restaurants across Broward County. "Whenever there are hockey games or concerts at the arena, that's our peak business."


Let me point out

1- If the mall isn't complaining, then why charge?

Because Sunrise Sports & Entertainment wants to force spectators to use their lots.

2- Traffic control isn't Sunrise's responsibility but law enforcement. The mall has been since before the arena. Anyone get killed or injured there?

3- The money going to charity. Why is the money being collected at all? The only reason is to make people use Sunrise's lots.

As the Sun-Sentinel points out today people live close enough to walk to the arena. Will they be charged too?

The last two paragraphs of the SS editorial says it all.

Traffic flow is a worthy goal. But it doesn't eliminate people's right to walk in public places. What's next? Five bucks to breathe the air while walking?

BOTTOM LINE: People have a right to walk to an event to avoid paying to park. The fee is unjustified and should be dropped

Broward County politicians should squash this idea now.

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