Valet parking in Bricktown has had its share of ups and downs the past several years. For a while, it was the wild west in Bricktown with some questionable operators casting a bad shadow on such services.
Efforts to regulate valet parking improved matters – but it looks like the city has an entirely new set of issues to consider. Before delving into this any further, read the following email I received from a reader:
Some may think its silly but there seems to be a battle every night at Mickey Mantels downtown for parking.
The poor Valets are caught in the middle, the police (usually about 7 of them) sit and wait for some one to park in the wrong
spot and then ticket them, whether they are the Basket Ball players or restaurant patrons, you might say what’s the big deal.
Since Mick Cornett and others worked so hard to bring them here we seem to ” not know how to act” other cities deal with this but in a more mature, professional manner.
The cops harassing the Valets in the reserved Valet parking and then the small stretch of CURB in front of Mickey Mantels.
You can go down any night that they have a Thunder game and watch the antics.
The players/patrons of the restaurant request their car be parked up front, it gets parked (with them being told that it will be
ticketed) then comes the cops to ticket. The restaurant then eats the ticket. You may think its the restaurants business to eat the ticket if they so choose but some of these cops get harsh with the Valets. Lets pettion the mayors office to designate that stupid curb as parking for the valets, what ever it takes.
I made a few calls on this matter. It appears that the city is working with Bricktown on yet more revisions to the valet parking regulations. But there are some other issues involved here that aren’t so simple to address with a vote by the city council. Let’s start by naming names and getting down to the nitty gritty here: the Thunder players and visiting players with other NBA teams love eating at Mickey Mantle Steakhouse. I’m not exaggerating – they are in love with the whole atmosphere, the bar, the ability to have a private dinner late at night after a game, and they really love the steak.
And that’s great. That’s money coming back into the local economy. But Mickey Mantle Steakhouse has no parking. It provides valet parking. And some of the players, I’m told, aren’t very comfortable with giving keys to a $75,000 automobile to a valet. And so some, I’m told, would prefer to simply park along the curbside mentioned by the above reader. And police officers, well, if they’ve got nothing better to do, they write tickets.
Is this what happens in other major league cities? Or are there special accomodations made for major league players? I’m not the expert on this one – so I went to Berry Tramel, our sports columnist, who has spent a lot of time in the major league sports world.
His opinion? The players have “posses” who can handle their parking needs and setting aside special spaces in Bricktown probably isn’t needed.
Now I ask you the readers – how should this situation be handled? Should the meters across the street from the Mickey Mantle Steakhouse be bagged on game nights and reserved for players? Or should we ask the players to park across the street at the Power Alley Parking Garage? Or should we trust this problem to be resolved by the folks at COTPA?