By Frank Giles
When visiting Atlanta, you definitely need to consider your parking and transportation options. In an age of Uber, car-share, and those little scooters all over the place, public transportation is not the only game in town. That’s a good thing because like most major cities, downtown parking is at a premium. So what happens when you throw in one Super Bowl weekend? Well as it turns out, parking and mobility doesn’t have to be so laborious, even during the Super Bowl.
This year, Atlanta was privileged to be the host city of Super Bowl 53. Sure, parking rates were adjusted to meet demand the closer you got to the stadium, but parking inventory was not exhausted. There were a few factors that allow a high-traffic city like Atlanta to successfully accommodate a Super Bowl crowd:
- Far away teams. The two teams playing in Super Bowl 53 were the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots. These teams being far to the west and north respectively in relation to Atlanta means very few people will want to drive in. This might have been different if we were hosting a closer team like the Saints … too soon?
- Public transportation push. Atlanta made a huge effort to push people toward MARTA, the city’s public transportation. There is a train station in the middle of all the action and I can personally attest that it was heavily used.
- Uber and Lyft. So who drives anymore, anyway? In a ride-share society, traffic doesn’t necessarily translate into parking. Ten or 15 years ago, visitors to Atlanta would book their hotel and their rental car at the same time, but that’s no longer the case. Because people are so comfortable taking a ride-share service, rental cars are largely avoided. This means less traffic searching for parking.
Events like this leave opportunity for more luxury services like valet and shuttles. At the end of the day there were still plenty of cars to park, but the parking experience for visitors was not the nightmare some might have expected. Everyone can win, even if your name is not Tom Brady.
Frank Giles is territory manager with Lanier Parking.