Shocker fans upset over new parking rules

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Shocker fans are reacting to changes that have been made outside the arena during men's basketball games.

New this year, anyone with a disabled person placard must pay $10 to park, while the other public parking remains free. That's upset some, but what happened before Saturday's game was the final straw.

Fans say as they showed up, the elderly, disabled or those with mobility issues were told they had to make the long walk in the rain, wind and cold like everyone else. Drop offs near the door weren't allowed.

Associate Athletic Director, Brad Pittman, is assuring upset fans that was a misunderstanding.

"Unfortunately, this weekend we had a miscommunication with a staff member," he explained.

Pittman says anyone with mobility issues or a person with a disability can continue to be dropped off near the door. He says if you explain, staff will accommodate you.

But Pittman says the new $10 accessible parking is here to stay.

"It's something within our industry that's not an uncommon thing," he said.

Pittman says other universities within the AAC Conference, and even Kansas State University and the University of Kansas charge a fee for accessible parking spots.

"What we sell is a product. We have a very good basketball team that has, in the last few years, been top 25 in the country. It's an entertainment product," Pittman said.

Still, fans don't think it's right. They've been airing their grievances on Facebook saying the parking rule is "over the line". One fan wrote "if the parking and [accessible] access at CKA is not resolved soon, there are going to be lots of empty seats and hollow cheers for the SHOX. Sad day coming."

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