UA and Residents Clash Over Game Parking

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A controversy is brewing between some Fayetteville residents and the University of Arkansas over parking during football games.

The university owns property at Brenda and Court streets, and this football season, university parking officials are using the driveways and yards to park cars. In years past, residents were allowed to charge for parking on game day, but this season it's banned.

Residents such as Nancy Deyo said they have charged to park cars for years.

"We received notice from our property managers that we were no longer allowed to charge for game-day parking in our driveways or yards," Deyo said.

To park cars on game day, drivers need a parking tag, which they get through the Razorback Foundation.

"People go through the Razorback Foundation and make donations, and based on the level of their donation, they are assigned specific lots," said Tom Hitt, UA parking supervisor.

The streets, however, are considered city property, and no one can ask for money to park there. Deyo said she believes the university is asking for money.

"If they don't donate money, they don't get a parking tag. Whether you donate it or you hand it over or you ask for it, money is still exchanging hands," Deyo said.

Parking officials said the parking tag allows fans to park on the property and on the street. However, Hitts said fans don’t need a tag to park on the street because it's public property.

"We do have lots like along here that we do, man, but if people want to park on the streets, they can park on  the streets," Hitts said.

To access most of these parking spaces, drivers need to travel on Razorback Road. But in order to drive on Razorback Road during game day, police require parking tags.

Parking officials said their parking policy follows the law.

"I had a conversation with police this morning about it, and we had a conversation with the city about it yesterday. I think we are pretty much straight on it," Hitts said.

Deyo said if lots are full, the university will park cars on the streets eliminating spaces that the public can use.

"In fact those residents have raised their prices, now folks are paying more and there are fewer places to be, too bad," Deyo said.

Sgt. Matt Partain said he has asked for a review from the Fayetteville City Attorney who's discussing the matter with the UA Legal Department.

According to the Razorback Foundation website, for scholarship parking you must be a season ticket holder in that sport and donate a minimum of $750 to the Football Annual Fund.

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