A little courtesy

Published 7:20 am Friday, August 15, 2008

DEMOPOLIS — The Tigers’ final season in Memorial Stadium brings with it a few changes to the order of parking near the facility. In an effort to protect the interest of its employees, the New Era Cap Company has placed new restrictions on the grounds around its factory.

“In the past, they’ve been parking all on the lawn and everywhere,” Ken Upshaw, plant manager, said of the parking situations that have plagued the plant and its employees during previous seasons.

“One of the worst feelings in the world is when you get off work and can’t leave because you’re blocked in,” Upshaw said of situations plant employees have encountered in which their cars will be blocked in by the vehicles of individuals attending the Demopolis home games.

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In an effort to resolve the issues, the plant has posted signs forbidding patrons from parking on the grass or in the parking lot on the south side of the building adjacent to Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital.

“This year we’ve got signs posted. Your cars will be towed,” Upshaw said. “Another thing that’s discourteous is parking on people’s lawns.”

Upshaw added that the lots behind and to the north end of the building will remain open conditionally.

“We would prefer the general public wouldn’t start parking until at least after 4:30 p.m.,” Upshaw said. “It really fits in pretty well if they can wait until 4:30.” He reported the players are still welcome to park on the grass adjacent to the stadium anytime necessary.

Upshaw added that another major concern of the plant is the safety hazard created when game visitors enter the aisles of parking lots in the wrong direction. Additionally, Upshaw requests that patrons park in marked spaces.

Demopolis head coach Tom Causey encouraged would-be Tiger game visitors to respect the wishes of the New Era Cap Company and explore other parking options.

“You’ve got to respect the company’s property. You just hope that you have that problem, that you have more people than you have spots,” Causey said. “Central office parking lot, you can park there and walk down. Hopefully they’ll use the Family Dollar parking lot and the central office parking lot. People who live close enough to the stadium can walk.”

“We want to be a good community citizen. But my first priority is to my employees,” Upshaw said. “I just want everyone to come and enjoy the game in a safe manner and have a good time. And let’s go Tigers!”