Arena may offer some reserved parking spots

People may soon be able to reserve a parking spot near Intrust Bank Arena online.

But only 200 of the 4,000-plus spaces would be available for reservation because it's just a pilot project for now.

Wichita City Council members will vote on a deal Tuesday that would leave it up to arena management company SMG to market and process the reserved spots.

The city would set the price of the reserved spots based on the event, and so far there's no hint at how much that may be.

Nonreserved spots are listed from $2 to $15.

SMG could charge a service fee of up to $2 on each reservation — and reservations would close one week before the event.

The reservations would include handicapped-accessible spots.

It's unclear how much demand there would be for reserved parking.

But the quantity and proximity of parking has been a major complaint among many observers.

Scott Boyd of Wichita bought his ticket to the Billy Joel and Elton John concert Saturday morning. But he doubts he'd ever reserve parking.

"There's parking within three or four blocks," he said, standing in front of the ticket booths at the arena. "It might be convenient for some people, but I'll just park a few blocks away."

Jeff Anschutz, who also bought tickets at the arena, said he wishes there were a parking garage.

He'd consider a reserved spot.

"If you know where you're going to park, you don't have to worry about how to get there," he said.

The Wichita Downtown Development Corporation recently posted an interactive parking map on its Web site, www.downtownwichita.org. It and SMG plan to put parking maps at QuikTrip and Dillons stores, as well as in an ad in The Eagle.

Amanda Rittel of Wichita plans to go to the Elton John-Billy Joel concert with her husband, mom, grandma and cousins.

She said parking isn't a concern for her.

"Everyone makes a big deal about parking," she said. "But I don't think walking will hurt us."

Her grandma is a different story, she said.

"They like the idea of buying a spot in advance and being close by," Rittel said.