MILWAUKEE -- While the NCAA Tournament play was taking place on the court inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee, outside the arena on Thursday, March 16th, FOX6 News found parking madness. Folks headed to watch games said it was easier to get tickets than it was to find a place to park.
"I reserved a parking spot at this particular spot thinking 'no problem. I can pull in.' Get here and all the spots are taken," said Sean Musial.
In a packed parking lot, Musial displayed his receipt for a parking spot he bought for roughly $33.
"Really disappointed. Now I have to go get another spot that's going to cost me $50," said Musial.
To complicate matters even more, the first game in Milwaukee was on a Thursday -- a work night for many people. Vehicles on the side streets near the BMO Harris Bradley Center for metered parking were most likely taken up by people working downtown, which meant finding a spot would be difficult for those headed to the tournament.
FOX6 News spoke with one frustrated motorist who works in downtown Milwaukee. She said when she showed up for work, the parking garage she uses every day was charging $75 -- significantly more than what she's used to paying -- which is just $7.
"We shouldn't have to pay $75 to park just to come to work because there's a game in town. I wouldn't pay anything over that $7!" said Stanthia Grier.
Amid all the parking chaos, there were a few stories of hope. Patrick Boelk was able to snag the last spot in a lot that charged just $20.
"I couldn't believe it because as I was pulling in, I kind of had to go back and forth a little bit because it was a little tight. There was a guy behind me who gave me a dirty look and it's like 'sorry!'" Boelk said.
Boelk's advice for those who are looking for score big on parking:
"Try to get here early. That's the big thing. Try to get here early and hopefully on Saturday, if you have tickets, there will be four less teams, so maybe four less groups of fans -- so there will be more spots," Boelk said.
Throughout the NCAA Tournament, parking will be at a premium in downtown Milwaukee. The best advice is to arrive early, expect to pay more and be prepared to do a bit of walking.