by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The city of Charlotte is days away from the Carolinas Panthers' first playoff game in five years.
With all the excitement also comes a high price for the game-day experience – from tickets to parking.
"You can make a lot of money off of it, so I can't blame people that are doing it," said fan Greg McClellan.
Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke looked into how much more it would cost.
Preferred Parking is already letting customers reserve spaces online. Fans can park near the stadium for $55 or stay within a quarter mile for $38.50. E-Z Parking is also selling spots now. It will run 15 lots on Sunday with spaces ranging in cost from $10 to $35.
"Some of the lots may go up by about $5," said Jay Ferguson with E-Z Parking. "We're not looking at huge price increases, but there will be a little increase based on high demand."
If a fan prefers a parking deck, the Catalyst Apartments is raising its price by $10 to $40. Laz's on Church Street will be about $30. The Carillon Building near the federal courthouse is keeping the prices the same as the regular season, at $10 for game day.
"If they make it to the championship round, it's going to be even more," McClellan said.
Action 9: Avoid being scammed when buying Panthers playoff tickets
As for the big Duke parking garage on Mint, it won't be open to the public Sunday. It's for permit parking only.
The Better Business Bureau has the following advice to keep your vehicle safe from towing:
-Do not park illegally, even for a brief period of time. There are plenty of parking lots in and around uptown Charlotte where you can park legally.
-Pay to park in a lot where you know your vehicle will be legally parked. It's worth paying $10, $20 or even $40 to park, instead of taking a risk by parking on a side street or a lot where the business is closed, just to save money.
-Look for towing signs in the parking lot and read them carefully. Even if there is only one parking lot for a shopping center, there may be designated spaces for each business.
-Take public transportation to uptown. Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) has multiple free parking lots along the Lynx Blue Line route where you can park and take the Light Rail to the stadium, uptown or South End.
See more about the parking situation by clicking here.
Panthers Pride Kickoff Party live Friday
Channel 9 will bring you everything Panthers playoffs in prime time Friday night.
Join Eyewitness News anchors Erica Bryant and Blair Miller at 8 p.m. for the Panthers’ Pride Kickoff Party live from the EpiCentre. We will have player interviews, important information for fans about traffic, parking and tickets.
Plus ESPN.com David Newton will be answering fans’ questions live on Twitter. The show airs live from 8 - 9 p.m.
For more details on the live show, click here.