Guests Going Out to Eat, Shopping Downtown Forced to Pay ‘Event Night’ Parking Rates Near Golden 1 Center

SACRAMENTO -- It was another sold out event at the brand new Golden 1 Center Thursday night. This time, it was Kings vs. Lakers.

But, while business is good almost anywhere around the new arena, not everyone is happy with how certain customers are being treated -- mainly those who are not going to a game or concert at Golden 1 Center.

Take, for instance, parking at one of the many privately owned lots near the new arena. It will cost you $25 to park there on event nights, whether you're going to the Golden 1 Center or not.

"Steep, that's too steep," said one man who was dining Wednesday at a nearby restaurant. "I wouldn't do it," he added.

The problem is compounded by the fact that there is no validation offer from the parking garages, and that has some restaurant owners concerned.

"They are going four blocks over to get cheaper parking, but they're also hitting another restaurant between here and there," said Chris Nestor, who owns House Kitchen & Bar a block away from the new arena. "Yeah, we definitely want to change it."

And it's not just restaurants that are being squeezed. Downtown attorney Michael Mechill meets with many of his clients after hours. So, it's either him or his clients who are paying the inflated fee.

"I can't park a client anywhere, I can't validate a client. They can't get in and get out. It's a business problem for me right now," said Mechill. "I'm really considering not being downtown when my lease is up."

Along Fourth Street though, between L and Capitol Mall, there is a different type of parking issue. The street is the designated drop off and pick up location for both Uber and Lyft on event nights.

"We love event nights," said Nick White, co-owner of Foundation Restaurant & Bar. There are tons of people out in front of our business who come inside. The problem is, the street signs out front say you can't park here any time. They don't say just on event nights, so people think they can't park in front of our business on nights there is no game, and that hurts us."

Some of the solutions being bounced around are, an inflated parking fee up to the start of the event only. That way, patrons could still come in and park at a reasonable price. Others believe valet parking could be an answer. Somewhere in the $10 to $15 range.