Letter To The Editor Concerning Ford Center

ford center
by Bill Hazelip
posted without bias, editing or opinion
In case the Mayor doesn’t get his four block Medical Center downtown I would suggest using this area for a parking plaza.  This parking plaza will help save the Ford Center, because free hockey tickets and hockey burn-out will never save the Center.  Last year was a great year for the Ford Center.  Most of the games, we didn’t even wear a coat to the game.   This year the older crowd couldn’t maneuver the ice and piles on snow on the sidewalks and streets. I helped a woman in a wheel chair during the last ACES game her wheel became caught in the ice, her husband pushing the wheel chair was not much help!  You can’t blame the City maintenance crew, temperatures and ice and snow and temperatures  hanging below twenty degrees is a maintenance killer!

The city and Ford Arena need the adjacent block of 6th and locust with a double deck parking garage.   This week, I was at Bob Evans and this woman came in with a handicap mobile bike, I opened the door for her and we discussed the ACES and Ford Center she said, she was going to the girl’s game and she hoped she didn’t get another illegal parking ticket, of which I said, “welcome to the club, I have gotten them too!”  She said, “one of the ACES’s girl player’s family from out of town had their Van pulled in and they couldn’t get back home, because it was a weekend!”
This is a terrible image for the Ford Center and Evansville.  We don’t need meter maids handing out tickets like hand- bills at a parade.  Everyone knows  that parking is critical, so why make the worst of this construction blunder.



    2009 State of The City Address

    Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel:

    “……Some people believe we should build at Roberts because of the parking- they say it has lots of parking. People also say Roberts is easy to get to… you can see it from the expressway. You can park and walk right up to the stadium doors.

    But there is more than enough parking downtown. It may not be in one big lot, but there are nearly 5,300 parking spaces in and around the new arena, compared with only 3,000 at Roberts Stadium. All of those 5,300 spots are within a 5 minute walk from the “front door” of the new arena. A 5 minute walk is the same as going from one end of Eastland Mall to the other. It doesn’t seem like a hike when you are in hot pursuit of a bargain…or a front row seat to a concert.

    Where are those spots? Well, there are more than 1,500 spaces in City parking garages- one garage is even located right next door to the arena. There are more than 2,100 spaces in private lots and more than 1,500 surface parking spaces.

    It is pretty easy to get to those parking spots too. And it will soon get even easier. We are using stimulus monies to add left hand turns off of Riverside Drive onto Main Street and Walnut Street. We will turn most of the one way streets into two way. And we plan to add new signals and signs to help ease the trip around downtown.”


    • Sooner or later the local taxpayers will have to foot the bill for the purchase of the O’Daniel family’s downtown holdings, which increased in size when they learned the arena was going to be built downtown.

  2. Everything will be OK as long as we build everything downtown in it’s 49 square blocks. All of Evanspatch will be revitalized and businesses with young upwardly mobile professionals will flood into the townhouses in the old McCurdy. I can forsee building condos on piers jutting out into the friendly Ohio River, although, they will have to be elevated enough to allow barge traffic to pass under them.

    Though I suggest erecting them high enough to reach the pies that will be in the sky.

  3. As for parking at the Ford Center, don’t. Just figure the price of a taxi into the cost of your tickets, and decide if you want to go to the event that much, or not. You don’t have to take the cab from home, if you live too far away. Just park in the lot of your favorite eatery and ride from there.

    • The parking is not all that bad. From the absolute worst free spot, the very back of the back 40, the door is about a 5 minute walk away. Leaving is also a lot easier than at roberts trying to cram hundreds of cars through 2 gates.

      • And who wants to walk that far in 0 degree weather? I remember there being 3 exits from Roberts and you did not have all the stop lights like downtown.

        • Two blocks is as far as my wife and I have to park from the Ford Center. Takes a very short time to get out of downtown after a event. Not like the wait to leave Roberts stadium. If it’s really cold I pay $5.00 plus tip to park right next to the Ford Center.

      • Ghost, the complaints about the walk illustrate the reason Evansville is one of the most obese places on the planet.

  4. The back 40 was basically a sheet of ice when Missouri State played the Aces, and it has been in horrible condition a couple of other times this winter. I am not blaming the crews: it’s impossible for them to do a good job when the lot is crowded with cars during the day. The downtown sidewalks were bad, and there were piles of ice and slush by the doors of the Farce Center. Roberts was never in such horrible shape.

  5. It’s nice that Bill took a break from telling kids to get off his lawn to write a letter.

    The parking isn’t a problem downtown. Have you ever traveled to any major US city?

Comments are closed.