Athletics promises not to raise parking price for the big game

Parking prices for all campus parking lots will remain the same for homecoming, FAMU athletic department officials say.

A $10 parking fee was instituted Sept. 3 for the first home game of the football season. It was an attempt to cover some of the debt accumulated during the football team’s unsuccessful move to Division 1A in 2003-04.

However, Erica Wilcox, the assistant athletic director for business operations, said the department does not have plans of ever removing the parking fee because it is part of their efforts to raise funds.

“Because Florida doesn’t fund any athletic programs, we have to find our own revenues,” Wilcox said. “We had to generate ideas to make money to cover our $4 million deficit.”

Though parking does produce revenue for the department, it has not completely solved their debt problems.

“We have made about $1700 a game, which is really a drop in the bucket when you talk about a $4 million deficit,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox credited lack of support as the main reason why the deficit is plaguing FAMU athletics.

“It’s a shame we have all these people who say they love the Rattlers but they don’t buy season tickets. We have people who come and park in the grass on campus so they don’t have to pay for parking,” Wilcox added.

Some students agree that the parking fees are not unusual.

“I’ve been to several Florida State games and paying for parking anywhere near the game is a given. I don’t know why they (the athletic department) didn’t start the policy earlier,” said Quiente Bristol, 21, a senior architecture student from Hernando.

Wilcox said she hopes that the athletic department will be able to turn its current financial situation around by reaching out to alumni and encouraging them to buy season tickets.

FSU charged $214 for season tickets and told fans that the only tickets available for the big rivalry game against University of Miami were season tickets.

The Seminole Booster Web site ( reports that 84,525 people were in attendance with five-eighths of Doak Campbell Stadium reserved for season ticket holders.

Alvin Hollins, FAMU sports information director, said FAMU’s football team has about 2,500 season ticket holders, and the team only made $252, 995 in season ticket revenue.

Overall, the new parking policy has not deterred students from attending games.

“I feel it’s just something we have to do. The first time I parked behind the Benjamin Banneker Building and I paid $10,” said Travonia Warren, 20, a junior health information management student from Gainesville.

“The second time because the street was blocked off I parked in somebody’s yard (on Gamble Street) and paid $5.

Contact Robbyn Mitchell at