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There will be no more free parking for spring training games in the four-story parking garage across from Roger Dean Stadium when the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals start playing later this month.
Motorists will now pay $10 in the 1,000-space garage located next to the new Marriott Hotel. The plan also calls for increasing the parking fee on the vacant grass lots from $8 to $10.
Free parking will still be available in the other two parking garages near the stadium.
"The public has become accustomed to the free parking. They will be sorry to see that go," said Jim Kuretski, the lone dissenter in the 4-1 vote.
Todd Wodraska said sports fans are used to paying for parking at a professional sporting event.
"Anyone that attends a professional sporting event expects to pay to park," said Wodraska.
Out of the $10 parking fee, $8 goes to Roger Dean Stadium. The rest goes to Jupiter for parking enforcement, according to Mike Bauer, general manager of the 7,000-seat baseball stadium in Abacoa.
Motorists used to park in a vacant lot that fit about 1,300 vehicles. Most of that lot is now occupied by The Allure at Abacoa, a development of 300 apartments and 70,000 square feet of retail. The development, currently under construction, leaves space for about 400 vehicles, said Bauer.
Bauer said the stadium's share of the $10 fee will pay for signage, cones and personnel to direct motorists to lots .
A grass lot on adjacent Florida Atlantic University property will open for parking for spring training. The fee in that 500-space lot will be $6.
Abacoa residents and business owners "are excited about the plan,"said Beth Kelso, executive director of Abacoa Property Owners' Assembly.
"The new parking plan gives us the opportunity to identify quick and easy parking," Kelso said. "This is designed to help Abacoa Town Center year-round."
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