Starting September 1, 2022, paid parking is being introduced at the ENMAX Centre as a fair and equitable way to generate revenue from users (both local and visitors) and to reduce the ENMAX Centre's reliance on support from Lethbridge taxpayers.
ENMAX Centre staff will be communicating and working with organizations that surround the venue, such as Lethbridge College and the Lethbridge Soccer Association, as well as with the City's Regulatory Services department in supporting neighbourhoods and businesses that could be impacted.
In working with the Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club for the past several months, it was decided that Hurricanes' season ticket holders would not have to pay for parking. This decision was made to help lessen the impact on the Hurricanes' organization.
There are roughly 2,100 Lethbridge Hurricanes season ticket holders. This will leave about 800 people on average to pay for parking, which accounts for approximately 400 vehicles during Lethbridge Hurricanes games. Game night users will have time to pay for parking, as the plan is not to begin enforcement until 30 minutes after a game begins. This will allow patrons to go to their seats and still be able to pay for parking from their cell phone app once they are seated.
The implementation of paid parking was a recommendation from the City of Lethbridge's third party operational review in 2019. Then, as part of the 2021-2022 Operating Budget, it was originally approved by the previous City Council on December 14, 2020 – item A-81 on page 27/215 here. In August 2021, the previous City Council voted unanimously to delay the implementation of paid parking at the ENMAX Centre until Fall 2022 partly in response to the recovery from COVID-19.
At its April 26, 2022, meeting, City Council voted 5-4 in favour of accepting the ENMAX Centre Parking Update. As part of the resolution, Council also directed Administration to proceed with investigating a City Sponsorship Program, including the drafting of a policy and an inventory of assets available for sponsors.
When implemented ENMAX Centre paid parking will include:
- Paid parking fee of $5 per vehicle
- Lethbridge Hurricanes season ticket holders will not be required to pay
- ENMAX Centre will use the current City parking system. Users can quickly and easily pay for parking through the City's parking app, which is already used in Downtown Lethbridge, at kiosks in the lot or in the venue, which will be equipped with card tap service for convenience to patrons
Additionally, Lethbridge College students will have to pay for parking at the ENMAX Centre after September 1, 2022. Students already have to pay for parking on the LC campus (and at the University of Lethbridge). The fee structure will be similar to campus in providing a daily, weekly, monthly, and semester rates. These rates will be identified in the near future.
The ENMAX Centre parking lots have been used as an overflow area, and in other cases to avoid charges. Those students who can't afford parking would have the opportunity to use Lethbridge Transit, which is a more affordable option.
The ENMAX Centre is one of the few venues of its size that does not currently have a parking charge within their operations. The City of Lethbridge understands this is a significant change for the community and are committed to working through challenges that may arise.
Significant thought and preparation has gone into the implementation of paid parking at the ENMAX Centre and communication will continue throughout the months leading up to September 2022. ENMAX Centre staff will begin their communication and marketing plan in June 2022.