Alliant Energy Center Parking Fee Hike to Ease Traffic

March 24, 2014
County Board Chair John Hendrick, 608.446.4842
County Board

Parking fee raised from $6.50 to $7 to speed transactions, avoid traffic backup


The Dane County Board of Supervisors approved a fifty-cent parking fee increase for the Alliant Energy Center to reduce the time spent making change and cut down on traffic backups during peak times at the event center.


The increase from $6.50 to $7 comes in response to increasing traffic tie-ups at parking lot entrances.


“During our concerts, when you have a dedicated start time, you have a lot of people arriving at the same time,” said Alliant Energy Center executive director Mark Clarke. “It’s very common for us to have backups onto the Beltline. We’re putting a backup onto the Beltline in addition to the normal rush hour.” The fee increase will also bring in an estimated $90,000 in additional revenue over a 12-month period.


Some supervisors did not feel a fee increase was the correct solution to the traffic tie-ups.


“To simply increase the amount for parking simply because it’s a hassle to make change is not a good reason to increase,” said Supervisor David de Felice. “Why not lower it? I think (a fee increase is) outrageous.”


DeFelice moved to lower the fee from $6.50 to $6, which would lower the Center’s revenue by $90,000, Clarke said. de Felice’s amendment failed by a voice vote.


“Whether you agree with the fee increase or not, there is a hazard with the current fee,” said Supervisor Robin Schmidt, the author of the measure increasing the fee. “Let’s make it safe for people attending events.”


“We do ask the Alliant Energy Center to run as a private business,” said Supervisor Tim Kiefer “It can’t do that if it’s constantly hamstrung by the County Board not allowing it to run a good business based on good business principles while also managing the traffic outside the center.”


The increase ultimately passed by a vote of 25-3 and will take effect on June 1.


In other business, the Board approved a zoning change to allow Christy’s Landing, a tavern  in the Town of Dunn, to add a second outdoor volleyball court and host as many as 25 outdoor music events per year, despite the objection of neighbor Robert Procter, who said the new volleyball court will be 64 feet from his bedroom window.


Procter has appealed the tavern’s conditional use permit. The County Board will hear that appeal at a later date.