Finding spots may be tough

Jessica Sasseen

With March Madness coming to the Hill, visitors and natives alike will be united by one common goal — finding a parking space.

Fans new to Bowling Green should first look for tournament parking in Western’s parking structure, located next to Diddle Arena on University Boulevard, said John Osborne, associate vice president for Facilities Management and campus services.

Cost to park in the structure will be $5 per visit. It will be closed to students beginning Sunday.

If the structure is full, cars will be directed to the gravel SKyPAC lots just a few blocks down. The parking will be based on availability, but it will be free of charge, said Assistant Athletic Director Craig Biggs.

A shuttle will run from Diddle Arena to the SKyPAC lots and back from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday to Tuesday.

But commuters who normally park in Diddle or the SKyPAC lots aren’t totally out of luck. A section of land across the railroad tracks at the intersection of University Boulevard and Old Morgantown Road is being graveled and will provide an additional 300 spots for student parking, said Bob Edwards, associate vice president of University Relations.

“We are trying to compensate for displaced commuters,” Edwards said. “Hopefully this can help alleviate some of the problems.”

The Diddle parking lot will be used for media, visiting teams, game officials and luxury box holders beginning today.

“Just park wherever you can find a space,” Construction Manager Ed West said. “All of Diddle lot and the structure will be cleared out for visitors.”

Packets that included directions around Bowling Green and to Diddle Arena were sent to all the schools. Directional maps will also be provided at the front desk of local hotels.

Hampton Inn in Bowling Green is supplying maps, city directories and tour guide pamphlets in each room, said Amy Cardwell, sales manager for the hotel. She said they are directing visitors the shortest mileage way from the Hampton Inn — take Scottsville Road, turn left at Broadway onto the 31-W Bypass, then turn right onto University Boulevard.

“We’re making them aware that the parking structure was closed to students and trying to make them aware of the alternate parking lots on campus, too,” Cardwell said.

The Bowling Green police will come in to help direct drivers after games.

“The city police come in and help the traffic flow on and off campus, but that’s the standard,” Biggs said. “We’ve been doing that all year.”

Normal parking procedures will return to the Hill next Wednesday.

Reach Jessica Sasseen at [email protected]

Herald reporter Abbey Brown contributed to this story.