New parking garage at N. Charleston Coliseum in works for big, multiple events

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - In the next few weeks, the City of North Charleston will start accepting bids for companies to design a roughly 2,000 space parking garage in the busy North Charleston Coliseum area.

City project manager Adam MacConnell said currently 25% of the design has been completed.

MacConnell added the idea of a parking garage has been in the works for roughly 10 years, especially with the number of events at the venues increasing.

With three events scheduled for Friday night, the South Carolina Stingrays season opener, The Book of Mormon, and WWE's NXT Live, a parking alert was issued for people who have tickets for those events.

"I just found out [about the parking alert so] it's going to be chaotic," said Donnie Squires. "I'm taking my son to the hockey game so hopefully it will be okay."

"We've got reserved seats so we're gonna get to our seats one way or another," said Mark Bennett, a Stingrays fan.

MacConnell estimates the parking garage to cost roughly $50 million, and is funded through the accommodation taxes which have been budgeted by the City. Those taxes you typically see in the hospitality industry.

The approximately 2,000 space garage, with five or six levels will go next to the Convention Center, on the East side of the campus.

"We hope to get a construction bid going in January, and then breaking ground in the second quarter of 2018," MacConnell said.

Once everything is signed off on, construction time is expected to take approximately 18 months.

"Anytime something that big comes to an area like this, I think it can only benefit," Stingrays President Rob Concannon said.

However, not everyone thinks a garage is necessary.

"I was just at a rugby match between New Zealand and Argentina and there was no parking around there," said Jeff Voracek, of Argentina. "So this is a pleasure to see... a parking lot!"

Concannon has seen the changes take place over the years around the North Charleston Coliseum.

As the Rays head into their historic 25th season the focus is on bringing even more fans into the arena.

"It's quite an accomplishment," Concannon said. "We're the only team in the league, other than Wheeling, that's been in the same city for that period of time. I think it's a testament to the fan base, the alumni, and definitely the ownership."

"The Stingrays are just part of the community, and [my son] has got some things going on with school with the team also," Bennett said. "It's just a great community thing and we're behind them 100%."

The South Carolina Stingrays take on the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7:05 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The Book of Mormon begins at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

WWE's NXT Live is set to start at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. Event workers there have clear bag policy in effect for the wrestling event. Purses and other bags will not be permitted.

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