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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Staff Editorial

Parking nightmare comes to UH this Thursday

On Thursday, UH student and faculty will be inconvenienced again when the campus parking lots are overrun by fans coming for the Houston Dynamo’s playoff match against the Philadelphia Union.

To many students this might not seem like a big deal — it’s not like the Texans are coming. But the Dynamo have drawn an average of more than 17,000 fans this season for home games. Since this is a playoff match, it’s safe to assume that even more fans with Dynamo fever will show up.

When there are Dynamo games at Robertson on Sunday nights, the campus becomes unnavigable — and that’s when the campus is usually free of students.

Parking and Transportation Services has tried to assuage this by allowing student to still park in most of the parking lots, but now they will have to compete with over 17,000 fans for spots that are already hard enough to get.

The entire stadium lot will be closed to students and faculty at 2 p.m. The bulk of lots that students use will be fair game after 4 p.m. as well. This is a terrible time for the parking lots to transition from UH students to soccer crazies. The roads on campus are congested enough at that hour, and I-45 is always a mess.

When parking lots were made available to fans for the UH-Rice game last week, it was different. It was much more defensible. That was for a UH event featuring UH student-athletes that attracted a large number of UH students.

How will UH students, faculty and staff benefit from the inconvenience of allowing Dynamo fans to park in their spaces? Is knowing the Houston Dynamo graced the pitch of Robertson Stadium enough of a reward? No. How much is the University benefiting financially from this? What is their incentive to make a bad situation worse — even if it is just for an afternoon?

Parking and Transportation Services should think a little more about the University’s students and less about whatever financial benefit this silly game will net them.

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