I have asked this question several times and I have never really got an answer from Stadium Supporters that made sense to me except that the parking Garage is needed as a public subsidy for the new hotel. Please try to explain this to me.
Numerous consultants have been hired to tell us how we should develop Downtown. They all tell us that we need to make downtown more pedestrian friendly. Over and over people who support Downtown development tell me that we need a downtown that is pedestrian friendly and that we need people to walk around our downtown area.
I tend to agree with this concept.
Consultants tell us that we have too many surface parking lots Downtown.
Why does the Mayor's office want to build a brand new 900 space Parking Garage Downtown?
I can understand why a hotel would want us to build a Parking Garage for their use as a subsidy. I can understand why someone at the GWC might think that a nearby Parking Garage would be convenient for people who attend Conventions (Though there are many other places to park nearby, I have never had a problem finding parking downtown in my life except during the Three Rivers Festival).
If you really believe in developing Downtown I would think that you would agree that we need Downtown to be pedestrian friendly and that we need people to spend some time walking in Downtown Fort Wayne.
A Parking Garage 100% defeats this purpose.
If there is a Parking Garage next to the Baseball Park most of the people who attend the baseball games will obviously park in the Parking Garage. They will not walk anywhere other then from the Parking Garage to the Stadium and back.
How does this encourage people to walk in Downtown Fort Wayne? How does this help the shops, restaurants, etc gain business?
I attend baseball games in many different places. When I go to a Cubs game I tend to walk a long ways because I am cheap and do not want to pay too much to park my car. Last time my wife and I had to carry our young children because we parked far enough away that our kids could not walk that far. For me walking through the neighborhood around Wrigley is part of the baseball experience.
Building a Parking Garage Downtown makes absolutely no sense to me from a Downtown Development standpoint.
Over at the blog "Change Fort Wayne" they use a lot of sarcasm. Maybe they are right, I wonder if more people would attend wizards games if we installed a shuttle system from the Parking Garage to the Baseball Stadium? That way people would not have to walk at all? Heck maybe we could have Fort Wayne purchase a couple hundred golf carts (At taxpayer expense of course). The golf carts could be used to shuttle people from their parking space in the parking garage all the way to the baseball stadium itself...