Sheffield Steelers fans say they were left ‘frustrated and angry’ after being caught in long traffic jams following changes in car parking arrangements at the Motorpoint Arena.
The venue has apologised and blamed ‘teething troubles’ for the hold-ups, which affected thousands of ice hockey fans heading to the venue at the weekend.
One disgruntled ice hockey fan said she queued for 45 minutes to enter at the Broughton Lane entrance she normally uses – only to be told it was for people who had paid in advance only.
Ellie Bennett said she was told to use the other entrance from Arena Square – but that there might not be a space.
With 25 minutes remaining to face-off for the game against Nottingham on Sunday, she considered going home but ended up using a private car park instead.
Ellie, who has supported the Steelers for 21 years and lives in the city centre, has written to the Arena complaining about the changes, which come as parking prices at the venue were increased for the first time in 11 years.
Ice hockey parking is now £4 or £3.50 if paid in advance, while other event parking has risen from £5 to £5.50 in advance or £6 on the day.
Ellie wrote in her letter: “I am sure you will be aware by now of the chaos which occurred in the vicinity of the arena caused by the new parking system and the lack of communication about it.”
A spokesman for Live Nation, which runs the Arena, said: “We do believe that the pre-payment of the parking will lead to a better customer experience and more efficient car parking system and urge all customers attending shows to read the information about pre-paid car parking on the How To Find Us Section of the venue web site www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk.”
Arena bosses have met with the Steelers to ensure the problems are not repeated.