COLUMBIA - Students whose cars were towed last Saturday to make room for football fans learned a simple lesson: Always read the fine print.
And checking your e-mail doesn't hurt, either.
Move your car to Turner, Conley, Virginia and University Avenue garages or the Trowbridge Livestock Area parking lot after 5 p.m., or to Hitt Street Garage after 11 p.m.
A few students who discovered their cars missing from the parking lot at College Avenue and Hospital Drive before last week's football game had either missed or disregarded the warnings of possible towings, said Jim Joy, director of MU Parking and Transportation Services.
Those warnings included a schedule of home football games printed on the back of each of the 250 hang tags issued to students for Lot CG-1, known on game days as Lot X, as well as a caution printed on the front: "Not valid on home football game days."
In addition, Parking and Transportation Services sent an e-mail to Lot CG-1 permit holders before last Saturday's game (as well as an e-mail before this weekend's game) as a reminder that cars would have to be moved. The e-mails also tell permit holders where they can park instead.
But on Saturday, 35 vehicles were towed out of Lot CG-1, which brought a few frustrated students to Joy's office.
Although parking is always an issue, part of the problem with this particular lot is that it's relatively new, Joy said. It opened halfway through last season, so no presold football parking permits had been sold and students' cars could remain parked there.
But this year, Lot CG-1, home to 1,100 spaces for students and hospital employees, becomes Lot X for six days during the fall, and the parking rights transfer to the holders of 1,000 football parking permits.
"There's an awful lot of constituents, and whenever you accommodate one, you inconvenience another group," Joy said.
Students may have been told of the switch, but it still likely contributed to some of the towings, said MU Police Capt. Brian Weimer.
"Cars were towed out of there, but that's why - it's now a lot designated for football games," Weimer said.
Today presents an especially sticky case, Joy said. Vehicles parked in designated athletic lots will have to be moved by 5 p.m., but Hitt Street Garage, where vehicles are often redirected for parking, will be restricted until 10 p.m. because of the School of Journalism's centennial celebration.