WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Fans attending a weekend River Cats baseball game in May claim they parked where the parking attendant guided them — but were greeted by $45 parking tickets when they returned to their cars after the game.
West Sacramento Police did a sweep of the parking lots on May 17, writing almost $3,000 in parking tickets to 66 cars for “parking on an unimproved surface” — which is against the law in the city.
But fans from two vehicles that received tickets told Call Kurtis they never would have parked there if the parking attendant hadn’t directed them to park there.
The white ticket slip came as a complete surprise to Michael Orr and his son, who were attending their first game at Raley Field.
“We came here for a family outing, and we got picked on,” Orr said, visibly flustered.
Orr had an official River Cats parking pass — valued at $9 — which he said he showed the parking attendant. But he was told to park down a gravel path off of Riverfront Street.
He said many cars were parked on unfinished surface — mostly gravel and unmaintained grass and dirt.
“We had cars parked right here,” he said, pointing to an area between a paved lot and the West Sacramento River Walk. “Cars all parked out there, like a regular parking lot.”
“If I just pulled in here and did it myself, I deserve that,” Orr said. “But I did what I was instructed by their crew.”
Consumer attorney John Demas of Sacramento’s Demas Law Group said the River Cats and Raley Field have a duty to people who attend their events.
“Ultimately, when someone pulls up in their car, they expect to be directed to a place they can park,” he said.
The River Cats admitted they’d heard from a couple upset fans who received tickets, but said their staff never directed anyone to park on the grass and gravel.
“We’re not really sure what happened,” said Mark Ling, who coodinates the River Cats’ Baseball Operations.
The West Sacramento Police Department told Call Kurtis it would give special consideration to drivers who feel they were misdirected where to park.
The River Cats have now blocked off that area with cones, and said those issued tickets can bring in their citations for free River Cats tickets in the future.
“We’ll give them a ticket voucher to a future game, and a parking voucher,” Ling said. “So they’ll park in a lot they’re supposed to park in.”
A small victory for Orr, who’s now waiting to hear back on his ticket appeal.
“All we did was do what we were directed,” he said.
The West Sacramento Police Department did not say it would dismiss all tickets, but said people who think they were misled will “probably” get them dismissed.
You only have three weeks from when the ticket was issued to contest it.
That means those ticketed on May 17 only have until Saturday, June 7, to contest it.