By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It has been three years since we have seen event parking where the Metrodome used to be, and where U.S. Bank Stadium now stands.

Luke Bryan played the first-ever concert at the new stadium Friday night. But fans looking to park on the street were in for a bit of a surprise.

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Parking for big events used to cost $15 around the Metrodome, but it is now $25 — even several blocks away from the stadium.

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“It’s a lot of money. It really is. It’s a lot of money,” said concert-goer Tyler Stevens.

Elias Lemon was shocked to find that distance didn’t mean discount.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“We realized we could have parked closer to U.S. Bank stadium for $25. We thought it would have been cheaper parking further away,” Lemon said.

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But you would have to go pretty far away to find anything cheaper on the street. Event parking for U.S. Bank Stadium stretches for more than a mile — all the way to Marquette Avenue and 11th Street.

“I guess they wouldn’t have to charge that much maybe. They could have it a little more reasonable,” said concert-goers Doug and Cathy Brown. “You expect meters to be cheaper.”

The city said the new cost is for inflation, and they point out that many of the street spots were not available during construction. They also say the price is comparable to what many lots and ramps charge.

The city uses money made from event parking for things like parking maintenance and infrastructure. But for some, that still does not help with the shock of what they are seeing when they park and pay.

“This was definitely a surprise for us,” Lemon said. “We were not expecting $25 for a meter a couple blocks from the stadium.”

It will be the same price for the Metallica concert Saturday night. It is also what street parking will cost for all concerts, as well as all Minnesota Vikings games going forward.

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By comparison, if you park on the street for Twins games at Target Field, event parking is anywhere from $1.50 to $2.50 per hour.

John Lauritsen