Springfield Cardinals Say Hammons Field Landlord in Breach of Agreement over Parking Spaces

The owners of two parking areas near Hammons Field are reportedly backing down on some of their plan to raise the cost for parking at Cardinals games but the team is still not satisfied with the situation.

The Cardinals released a statement Wednesday night that the lot owner and their affiliates (JD Holdings LLC, Plaza Realty, and Atrium Hospitality) were acting “in bad faith” with the team and were in breach of an agreement to allow the Cardinals to purchase spaces at a reasonable price.

The new reported charge of $14 is still too high for the Cardinals, as the price to park would be over 50% higher than the price of some of the least expensive tickets to watch games.

Here is the statement the Cardinals released to the media tonight:

Pursuant to the terms of our lease at Hammons Field, the Springfield Cardinals have the option to license from the Landlord, at such price reasonably established by the Landlord and communicated to us at least 90 days before the baseball season, up to 400 parking spaces. In or about early March, we heard that Landlord and certain of its affiliates that control parking in the surrounding area (i.e. via Atrium Hospitality, Plaza Realty and JD Holdings) had been discussing plans to charge $20 per space/car for parking to our fans this upcoming season.

On March 13, we notified the Landlord of its breach of the terms of our lease by failing to provide us with the right to license these 400 spaces at a reasonable price by the required deadline, and we requested the Landlord to promptly provide us with reasonable pricing so that we might possibly exercise our option to license such parking spaces (so that we might be able to pass along reasonably priced parking to our fans). Nine days ago, on April 1, the Landlord offered to license to us 400 parking spaces for a prepaid upfront total fee of $420,000, thereby guaranteeing Landlord a rate of $15 per space for all of these 400 spaces for all of our home games. We declined this offer and informed the Landlord and its legal counsel that their proposed pricing and terms were outrageous, lacking in good faith and constituted a breach of our lease agreement.

Just yesterday, the General Counsel for Atrium Hospitality (based in New York City), on behalf of the Landlord, JD Holdings and their affiliates including Plaza Realty, reiterated this same outrageous and bad faith offer that was made to us on April 1. He also indicated to us in his letter yesterday that, after considering our concerns about their previously proposed $20 rate to be charged to our fans, they decided to reduce their rates to $15 per space to be charged to our fans (i.e, the same rate they were asking us to guarantee for all of the spaces for all of our home games). Earlier today, we again declined their offer.

Now, we understand that they intend to charge our fans at a rate of $14 per space (for now). While we are glad that they have continued to reduce their proposed parking rate, we still believe that the $14 per space is unreasonable, and we believe that the Landlord has breached its obligations under our lease and that the Landlord and its affiliates have not acted in good faith in connection with its dealings with the Springfield Cardinals, our community, and our fans.

We will continue to seek reasonable parking alternatives and solutions for our fans in order to keep the experience of attending our Springfield Cardinals games affordable for the families of our community, and we very much appreciate the understanding, patience and support of our great fans as we do so.