Last week, the Albuquerque Isotopes announced they are going to start charging $5 for parking for all home games at Isotopes Park. Then on Tuesday, the Triple-A baseball club said that it will split evenly with the University of New Mexico the revenue that is generated.
The $5 parking fee for football, basketball and baseball events at the athletic facilities on the UNM south campus are for the fans’ benefit, those charging the parking fees say.
“The portion received by the team will go into investments we make annually into Isotopes Park and fan amenities,” John Traub, general manager for the Triple-A baseball club, said in an e-mail to the Journal.
“Part of that investment is keeping our venue fan-friendly, safe and clean. This revenue will also help us keep ticket prices family-affordable.”
As the tenant of the 7-year-old city-owned ballpark, the Isotopes also have a partnership with UNM, which owns the lots around the park — as well as University Stadium and the Pit.
The Isotopes have 72 home games, which signifies the most use of the surrounding parking facilities by any one team. This year, they also add the two major league exhibition games between the Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners on April 2-3.
UNM reiterated that its portion of the money will go for the maintenance and security of the lots for the fans’ sake.
“We needed a mechanism for upkeep,” UNM media relations director Greg Remington said. “Hopefully, this will allow us to keep everything up to date for the future.”
This past fall, the university began charging $5 parking for all football and basketball games. Vehicles with four or more occupants have been allowed to park free of charge, and this policy will continue with the Isotopes. UNM will continue to operate all of the lots, the Isotopes said.
Remington said the fee is also in effect for such events as the Professional Bull Riders Tour and the Gathering of Nations.
Traub wrote last week in a letter to Isotopes season-ticket holders that they will have an option of purchasing a discounted parking pass at $175 for the entire 74-game home schedule, the exhibition games included.