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Temporary parking plan in place for the opening of the Enmarket Arena

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 10:51 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2022 at 5:03 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A temporary parking plan is being implemented at the new Enmarket Arena in Savannah.

According to the City of Savannah, the two main road projects at Stiles Avenue and Gwinnett Street, along with construction of some of the parking lots, will not be completed in time for the opening of the arena.

City leaders and the Oak View Group worked with traffic consultants to work on the short-term plan to discourage attendees from parking in residential areas around the arena.

Ticketholders planning to drive and park near the arena will need to reserve a parking space in a temporary parking lot in advance. They will then receive specific instructions about the route to take to that parking spot. Click here for more on reserving a parking spot on the arena’s website.

There is a dedicated area for rideshare drop-off and pickup, as well as a free trolley from the historic district to the arena site.

While local leaders are pushing alternatives, those that live in the area are considering some unique fixes.

Savannah’s Mobility and Parking Services office is working hand in hand with Enmarket Arena operator Oak View Group to make sure west side residents like Latasha Green aren’t inconvenienced by show-goers parking on their property or blocking them in. Green, who lives just a stones throw away from the new arena, says she isn’t worried just yet.

“I’m actually excited. I want to see what it looks like,” Green said.

Green says she’s also excited about the prospect of catching a glimpse of big-name performers with her up-close vantage point. And as far as parking goes, she says she’ll even consider cashing in and renting out space on her property, if able.

“VIP, $20. $10 for half of the night.”

Green isn’t the only one getting a chance to make some money off arena-goers. The city and OVG are in the process of finalizing a partnership with nearby churches to rent out parking spaces during big events.

“They’ll end up getting a percentage of each space. So there’s a flat amount that they’ll get for each space that we end up using,” said Sean Brandon, Director of Mobility and Parking Services.

Brandon says the reservation for those spaces will be handled by the arena operator. Prices will vary based on the type of event. For alternative transportation, Old Town Trolley is being contracted to shuttle people from an area near Barnard and Liberty streets to Feely Avenue, just steps away from the Enmarket Arena doors. Either Savannah’s Mobility and Parking fund or OVG will foot the bill for that. For people using the trolley, space will be made available in city garages near the pick up point.

“The surrounding garages that we operate, Liberty, Robinson, the Visitor Center parking lot, will actually be free on those nights,” Brandon said.

Brandon says 800 to 1000 parking spaces should be online around March this year at the arena site, which will reduce the need to use parking at exterior sites.

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