Monday, September 28, 2009

Unravelling parking at Sangamon Auditorium

Parking is an important part of the patron experience when attending events at Sangamon Auditorium. Both the Auditorium and its larger host institution, the University of Illinois Springfield, want to make patron parking as pleasant as possible. To that end, the university restructured its parking efforts this summer and created an Office of Parking Operations. Here are some important details and tips about parking for Sangamon Auditorium events:

The biggest tip is to arrive early! If you already have your tickets in-hand, arriving no less than 30 minutes prior to the show will give you plenty of time. If you still need to purchase or pick-up tickets, we suggest arriving no less than 45 minutes prior to the show. UIS has evening classes Monday-Thursday, so if you’re arriving for a 7:30 p.m. show, some of the closer parking may already be full of commuter students who arrived for a 6 p.m. class. If you arrive at the Auditorium doors later than the published start time, you may not be allowed in the hall right away; some performers want to avoid distractions in the audience and they specify to our house management staff when people are allowed inside.

The other important tip is to try to try to avoid the intersection near the “teardrop” circle drive of the Public Affairs Center unless you need to drop a passenger off or would like to use our valet service. This intersection can get very congested on show nights, so it is best to avoid it unless you require one of these services.


PARKING LOTS AND SIGNAGE: Visitor parking at UIS is now clearly marked by signage at the entrance to each applicable lot. Visitor parking is available in lots A, B, C-north, D, and I. After 5 p.m. and on weekends (when most Auditorium events occur), you may also park in lots C-south, F, G and I. The new map provides details.

VALET & PREMIUM PARKING: These services are available for most, but not all events at Sangamon Auditorium. If you are interested, please call the Ticket Office at 217.206.6160 to confirm whether or not your event will have valet and/or premium parking.

* Valet Parking: Use the “teardrop” circle drive of the Public Affairs Center if you would like valet service. The cost is currently $8. Follow campus signage to the Public Affairs Center and event signage will direct you to the valet parking line once you are near the PAC.

* Premium Parking: “Premium Parking” is available in Lot E, the lot that is closest to the Public Affairs Center. This normally costs $5, but if you become a Friend of Sangamon Auditorium – at the Terrific level or above – you get at least 2 vouchers each year for free premium parking.

PASSENGER DROP-OFF: Use the left lane of the “teardrop” circle drive of the Public Affairs Center if you would like to drop off a passenger(s).

ACCESSIBLE PARKING: The closest accessible parking is available just south of the Premium Parking area (Lot E) by the Auditorium loading dock. To get to these spaces, use the small road that runs along the south edge of Lot E; it’s marked with a sign for Auditorium Receiving. There are also accessible parking spaces in Lot C-south (next best option), and Lots A & B.

"CREATIVE" PARKING: The campus police are not shy about giving parking tickets, so don’t try to create your own space at the end of a row or in the grass.

SUGGESTION: If you don’t mind some walking and you want to avoid traffic you can use Lot B. It’s a huge lot and I’ve never seen it completely full. If the weather is bad you can enter Brookens Library, go to Level 1 (a.k.a. the basement) and follow the signage in the tunnels to get to the PAC. Lot B provides one of the best ways to exit the university following a performance; you can avoid the intersection at the teardrop.

WORTH NOTING: My favorite place to park is Lot C. Even though it feels a little farther away, it’s actually the same distance as the very popular Lot D. As an added bonus, if you go east when you leave, you can cut through Lot B to get out to University Drive (a.k.a. the circle road) and completely avoid the intersection at teardrop.

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