Paved Off: Three Venue Parking Lots You'll Always Get Stuck In Well After a Show Ends

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Let's say you've paid really good money to see a show and, as such, you want to stay until the very end. You see the people who don't want to stay through the encore -- they're heading toward the exits so they can get out to their cars and beat the traffic home -- but you stay in your seat. You want to get your money's worth. You know to expect a delay with the mass exodus to the exits, but you don't think about how long you're going to wait in a parking lot, waiting to get out and get back on the road. 

Well, here's a list of area venues whose parking lots have some of the worst wait-times after a show. 

Gexa Energy Pavilion 
The old Starplex has had plenty of names, but something has always remained the same: Getting out of the parking lot is a bitch. There are plenty of entrances and exits to make your way through the place, but when you have only two streets to get onto (Robert B. Collum Boulevard and Fitzhugh Avenue), well, in the words of Bob Nastanovich in a Pavement song: "You'll just have to wait." Oh, and when the State Fair's in town, you'll have to wait even longer. If you can even get a space in the lot. 

The Gilley's complex (with the Palladium Ballroom, South Side Music Hall, Jack Daniel's Saloon and The Loft) 
It's one thing to see a show at The Loft -- you can get out of the front parking lot and onto South Lamar Street mere seconds after you leave the venue. But let's say there are a number of shows going on in the Gilley's complex -- especially in the biggest room, the Palladium Ballroom -- on the same night. Now you're talking about a royal headache waiting to happen. When the front parking lot is closed to exiting traffic, you have to take the long, alley-like streets that run along the rail line to leave the place. Be warned, though: The long lines found there grow quickly. You could be sitting in your car for almost 30 minutes, hoping for your turn to get onto Lamar. 

Verizon Theatre 
Location is to blame on this one, big time. As spacious as Performance Place is just north of I-30 by way of Belt Line Road (not to mention how easy it is to get into the venue), you can always expect to be a part of a brakelight parade for a long time after the show. No matter how hard police  and the venue's parking lot staff try to get traffic flowing after the show, it is almost always bumper-to-bumper. What can make the wait time worse is if an Airhogs game gets out at the same time. Or if a race ends at Lone Star Park. Bring a book to read or load plenty of games on your iPhone, folks; you're going to be waiting quite a while just to access Belt Line. 

Solutions? 
Yes, these three venues are some of the biggest in town. This is not a call to boycott these places. Nor is this a complaint about big venues in general. It's just that, with places like the American Airlines Center and the House of Blues, you have options when it comes to parking, whether you want to park on the grounds or in the massive lot under Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Is it too much to ask for a separate parking lot or two, even if people have to hoof it to get to the venue?



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9 comments
Bigmac Tony
Bigmac Tony

2 of these have other parking options if you are not a fat slob too lazy or laden with lard to walk a bit. Grand Prairie.. not so much.. but who wants to go there anyway

MattL1
MattL1

You could eliminate all these problems at Palladium and Starplex if the DART trains ran just one hour later.  They're both easily accessible from the Green and Blue/Red lines, respectively.  The only problem happens when the show ends 20-30 minutes after the last train runs and you're stuck miles from home without your car.

There is a trick to getting out of Verizon quickly.  I just haven't figured it out because I refuse to attend shows there anymore. 

Older Rich Guy
Older Rich Guy

I don't see what the bally-hoo is about. Do you not have means to hire a town car or at the most pedestrian a limo for your evening out? In either insistence you will find yourself inside your vehicle and being delivered to your next destination. Be it a smart cocktail "bar" or even a suite for the evening out. Think. Just slow down and think. In regard to that mess Flaming Lips, my nephew has played me some of that, and I need to go on record as saying that it is noise. Wrapped in candy and cool, but noise all the same. Cheers.

just sayin'
just sayin'

I think that your secret to Gexa is common sense, Evan. Luckily most people lack it. I bet we have parked beside each other. Probably gave each other a respectful nod as we took the quick route out of that place.

Any band that is headlining any of the venues that are mentioned in this article are usually pretty established bands with predictable closing numbers/encores. So when I dont feel like fucking with traffic, I grab my shit and leave when I hear the first few chords of what is going to be the last song.

Lance_Lester
Lance_Lester

Agreed, trying to get out of Verizon is the worst.  Also, Evan, I was at the '05 Lips show too.  Does that mean we are buddies now?

Evan
Evan

I feel like I shouldn't give away my secrets - but Gexa is manageable if you know where you should head to get out, and the answer to South Side is to not park in the main lot. There's a nearby lot that's always cheaper and quicker to get out of. 

Verizon is the main offender, with $20 and $25 (crappy) parking. Nuts to them, haven't seen a show there since Flaming Lips in 2005, and damn near nothing will bring me back.

MattL1
MattL1

Good to know I'm not the only one who won't go to shows at Verizon/Nokia anymore.  

Older Rich Guy
Older Rich Guy

I just returned from a two round day at Lakewood Country Club and thought I'd pop online for a smidge before opening a jazzy bottle of wine for the wife and myself. You can imagine my surprise when I read that Pete Freedman enjoyed my comments in regard to the parking issues. Is it a problem? I'm sure it is for some people, but then again so are the taxes in relation to capital gains. Cheers.

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