Sep 13, 2010 11:57 PM by Carolyn Cerda
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is celebrating the win at their first home game of the season. But for some Cajun fans, the euphoria quickly ended as soon as they left the field. Some had to pay nearly $250, after they parked at Westwood Village Shopping Center across Bertrand St. and they found that their vehicles had been towed. UL officials say they realize this is a re-occuring problem.
"I think once people see that Cajun Field parking is full, then they're just kind of own their own... and that's not the case," said UL Assistant Athletic Director, John Dugas.
Last season, when Southern University came to town, the stands overflowed and so did the nearby parking lots at private properties. The owner of Any Body Towing on Cameron St. says the company towed more than 50 vehicles that day.
Saturday, the stands were not packed but Cajun Field parking lot did fill up, causing officials to open up their overflow lots. This includes the Cajundome, Blackham Coliseum, and the Hilton Garden Inn. Dugas wants fans to know of these other free parking options, so that at future games, they won't be tempted to park at nearby private properties.
"I know it can be frustrating... College football games, very few stadiums can you really park that close," said Dugas.
Occassionally, UL does tow vehicles inside campus parking lots. But, it's only when cars are not parked correctly, like blocking emergency entrances or in handicapped spaces. And, they do what's called a "friendly" towing, where it's free of charge because they just move the vehicle to another place within the parking lot.
"Once someone parks away from our lots, we really have no control of towing." said Dugas.
Dugas also wants to remind fans to use the "Guest Assist" texting system if they have parking concerns on game day. Just text the word "cajuns" along with you location and question to 78247. A dispatcher will respond with an answer. Fans can also go to rajuncajuns.com and go to the football fan central page for parking maps.
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