The Southfield Loophole In Flushing

Hey readers, sorry for the delay in posting…wrapped up in Frontstretch work and in my Tropicana Field chapter…almost done!


But anyway today’s tip is for Citi Field, home of the Mets.


As you know, parking at ballgames is becoming more expensive, and parking in New York City at all is going to cost you. But I did find a way to save quite a few dollars parking at Citi Field. (There are places to park for free a few blocks away, but I’m not giving up that one.)


In 2001 I went on a baseball road trip, and one of the stops was Comerica Park in Detroit. I didn’t want to park in the satellite lots for $5, being in Detroit and whatnot, so I parked in the venue lot for a teeth-grinding $20. I was right there at the gate, but still. Comerica Park is so gorgeous that I made a return trip in 2002. I got to the park early in the afternoon, because I wanted to explore the city a little on the monorail and then just leave from the game. I parked in a garage across the street, and because it was before 3:00 PM, I was charged exactly two dollars for the entire night.


I’ll wait around for a few hours for a 90% discount on parking.


Similarly in Flushing, thanks to outraged locals, one can exploit the parking rates on game days in the Southfield lot just south of Citi Field, along Roosevelt Avenue. This lot is generally for commuters using the 7 train to get to Manhattan, but it also serves as a Mets lot on game days. The Mets game day parking price is currently $18 (which they proudly announced that you can use your credit card to pay, as if making fans go into debt just to park were something to be proud of) and this applies to the Southfield lot as well.


But local commuters justifiably threw a fit when this lot started charging $18 to park there on game days, since they suddenly saw a 400% increase in their parking rate. And the owners of the lot agreed that this wasn’t right, and adjusted their game rate.


Now if you arrive at the Southfield lot before 9:00 AM for day games, or before noon for night games, the game rate will not yet apply, and you will pay a sharply discounted price for parking, $4 last time I checked. $4 to park at a Mets game? Sold.


All of this was confirmed to me when I e-mailed the owners of the lot, but it took them a while to respond, so I wonder if they were being cautious about sharing such information. Can’t blame them, but they did say I was correct, so I applaud them for that. And keep this to yourself.


The only question with all of this is what to do for a few hours in Flushing before you can enter the ballpark. No problem. You can spend some time in nearby Flushing Meadows Park, or visit the Hall of Science a few blocks away. Or you can jump on a 7 train to Manhattan and have a great deli lunch…even with a round trip on an MTA train you’ll still be ahead.


If you’re driving to Citi Field, try this option. You’ll save enough for a Shackburger and a Shackmeister Ale, items not to be missed at a Mets game.


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