Why Are All Those Cars There?
In March, professional sports and major concerts were postponed or canceled as one of the first steps taken to control the spread of the coronavirus. So today, in May, why are the parking lots at arenas and stadia across the country full of cars?
From the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, the parking lots have cars in them, cars sometimes numbering in the thousands.
Turns out, it’s nothing nefarious. There are no secret games taking place, no unpublicized concerts. No one is attending something that the rest of us can’t. The cars in those parking lots belong to car rental companies, companies which now have far more cars than customers, thanks to the impact of COVID-19 on travel and tourism.
In the parking lot at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, where ordinarily the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers and the National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers would play, Enterprise Rent-a-Car has taken up residence. There is not enough room at the airport, because far too few cars are on the road.
Similarly, Angel Stadium in Anaheim has a parking lot brimming with unrented cars. In Honolulu, Aloha Stadium has cars from five different rental companies parked in its lots.
Enterprise is one of the marketing partners in Philly with both the Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center, and so every car in the lot is one of theirs. Thanks to the marketing tie-up, the parking privileges are being provided for free. And, just as none of us knows when the pandemic will be corralled, no end date has been specified for the arrangement.
Related to this is the “buyer’s market” for car rentals that exists right now. If for some reason you need to rent a car (or truck), there are some great deals available. Almost makes you want to take a road trip… except in most areas, road trips are off the table now, too…