TEST - Parking at Ford Center undergoing first test for IceMen game

Thousands filled the new arena for the IceMen's home opener on Saturday night.

One large difference between the Ford Center and the Evansville IceMen's previous home is that the latter had a parking lot.

On Saturday night, IceMen fans had two choices, to park for free but potentially walk several blocks to the Ford Center, or to pay $5 for a closer spot.

Hours before the puck dropped, fans gathered to tailgate and to celebrate the beginning of a new era for the hometown team.

However, the other reason for arriving early was securing a coveted parking space in the parking lot behind the Civic Center.

Parking proved to be a concern for the Ford Center, which is landlocked in downtown Evansville. To ease confusion, the Evansville Building Authority released maps which detailed the potential parking spots, including garages, reserved lots, and free spaces.

Several residents utilized the three parking lots, each within a few blocks of the Ford Center, but they carried a $5 cost. Some fans called that a reasonable cost for the proximity.

One fan says, "I'd rather avoid paying for it if I can, but if I have to I have to."

Others were content to spend the extra time walking to see the game.

One fan says, "You go to Indy, St. Louis, anywhere like that, you've got to walk a couple of blocks too."

To see the map for the Ford Center, click here (PDF).

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