Greetings fellow Tigger-heads! With the new home football season rapidly approaching, I'm gonna roll out what I believe is a good insiders look on wear to park for free, for cheap, and for towed. As always, I recommend anyone who sees fault in my work to comment nicely.
Anyways, here's what I know. Looking at the new parking guide for football (here), a few changes I can see. One of the bigger additions is Reactor Field, which is now "Lot R." As that was a major open pay area, that has been supplemented with two new Pay Zones: The parking lot at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center (which is behind the Blood Center, and across from the Research Reactor) is no longer a donor site, and the lot just south of Reactor Field. Another new pay area is within Lot X, the large open parking area off College and Hospital. These lots, in addition to the Maryland Ave. Garage (or Tiger Ave...whatever) and Parking Structure 7 (next to the Ortho Center) are $15 (up from 10?). Additionally, the VA South parking lot is designated as "Family Friendly" for $15. I assume this means only three cases of brew per person.
If you meet the requirements for accessible parking, there is a large space next to Lot A (NE stadium parking) and within Lot M (East of Hernes). I don't know about numbers, but I believe these also fill quickly. These are also $15.
Other paying sites exist within Greektown, though I don't know the cost. The Newman Center parking lot (south of Turner) is pay, and I know that there's a sliding scale for spaces (closer to game time it increases). But they're fundraising, and I'm a member of that church, so no complaining is allowed.
Now, for those that don't want to pay, but want to be close. The usual suspects are along Providence and Stadium. The police have been closing the shoulders further and further every year. Expect this to continue. The parking lot at the golf course fills up earlier, if you can make it. Turner and Conley Garages are good places. Turner's roof fills the soonest. Still a bit of a hike, but parking in the Vet School Complex is under utilized, and as far as I can tell, under patrolled. Not saying, but saying.
There have been some local saloons to offer rides from their establishments to the stadium. I don't recall who did it last year, or if any will be going on this year. I would appreciate any knowledge in regard to this.
If you want to leave right after the game, I would suggest Hitt or University Garages, or some of the school lots around Engineering. That would give you a leg up in getting onto Providence (if the light aren't blinking red...then, you're hosed). If heading West, Stewart to West Blvd. is your friend.
As always, follow marked signs. Cars left in donor lots or the Newman Center on Friday night will be towed. Cars parked in marked non-parking spaces (by police) will be towed. Parking in the residential area west of Providence (and Greektown) is not advised unless you are invited. I've seen wreckers in donor lots waiting during games to tow cars. Don't try it.
Please, remember that games are supposed to be fun, enjoyable affairs. Be courteous to your fellow tailgaters. Don't swear around small children. Pick up your trash and recycle what you can. Avoid public acts of nudity or "Knowing Someone in the Biblical Way." If Mrs. Bill C wants to drink a whole bottle of Goldschlager on an empty stomach, remind her of the possible harmful side effects. Let local radio personalities do their shows. Welcome visiting fans with a handshake and a cold beer. You are representing your town, state, school, blog, and humanity. Screw it up and the beatings shall commence.