CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Just minutes before kickoff, fans were telling FOX 46 about the tough time they had getting inside.
Dense crowds of people were streaming into the stadium, but some say parking was their biggest issue.
When it comes to tailgating, the early bird gets to hop the curb.
“I think we cracked the first one at 11:59,” Kyle Lucas told FOX 46.
Lucas and his crew arrived at Bank of America Stadium eight hours early.
“You know it’s worth it man, we’ve got prime real estate right here,” Lucas said.
At that time of day, no one was asking them to pay for parking, but most fans aren’t so lucky.
“If you get a decent ticket up top, it’s like 100 bucks,” one fan told FOX 46.
Game tickets are expensive enough, and some parking costs more than those tickets.
“This is the first year I’ve come and seen multiple signs, $60, $80 for parking.”
It’s getting so bad that back in preseason, FOX 46 saw multiple fans parking alongside the I-277 entrance ramp.
CMPD is now blocking that area, and it’s even cracking down on other state-owned areas by rolling out yellow tape. So, some fans now getting to the game in different ways.
“The Uber was only 10 bucks,” one rider said.
It’s easy to see why.
“if I’m going to give Uber $10 verses $40 to park I’m going Uber all day long!”
Back in the day, fans say it wasn’t quite like this.
“Parking was $25.”
But with today’s staggeringly expensive game day experience, fans are figuring out ways to make it work for them, and their budgets.