BOONE, NC (WBTV) — With every Mountaineer win, more and more attention is drawn to the Appalachian State’s football program. That means more people are traveling to Boone to see the games.
But in a small town, parking can quickly run out. That’s why local residents say you have to plan ahead before making the trip.
“If you don’t have the right schedule to drive around Boone, you’re doomed,” said one student.
For some, parking in and around Boone is about as much fun as a jaunt through Dante’s “level seven” on a regular weekend.
Put up with the tens of thousands of fans lining up for the Mountaineers every Saturday and you’re in for a parking challenge that could give even the most hardened driver a headache.
“It’s absolutely exciting and chaotic at the same time,” said Billy Winkler, a staffer at First Baptist Church.
“Even if I don’t look like it today, I’m the music guy here.”
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The church, like many businesses around town, is within sight of College Stadium and they have hundreds of empty parking spaces.
To earn a few dollars for missionary travel, they rent a parking lot for twenty dollars a car.
And people struggling for a place devour them.
“More than half of the calls we get here at the church are from people looking for parking for the football games,” Winkler said.
App student Emmy Hagaman says if you want those coveted parking spots, you have to get up early.
“It’s almost a science to get a parking space,” Hagaman said.
There are parking decks around campus, but residents tell WBTV they fill up quickly. There are many people who will let you park in their yards, but it can become a bidding war.
“Some people will pay me up to a hundred dollars for a single seat,” said Dana Brackney, who has rented seats in her home for twenty dollars apiece, and business is booming.
“I don’t offer toilet service or my grill, no tailgate, but I’m selling the parking lot – love it!”
No open containers are allowed in Boone, so make sure the venue you plan to party at allows drinking on its property.
But what if you don’t want to spend the money just to park your car?
The university’s Megan Hayes says they have nearly two thousand out-of-the-way sites – free for football fans to use.
They will even take you there and back, but for free.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure there are options for people who want to park and get to our football games,” Hayes said.
If you’re planning on staying at a local hotel, most offer a free shuttle service that will take you straight to the stadium.
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