New GameDay Parking app to assist MSU football fans

As the slogan goes, “There’s an app for that.”

Whether it’s finding the nearest ATM, the cheapest gas or the closest pizza restaurant, a mobile smartphone application is there to aid you.

A series of four GameDay Parking apps hits Apple’s iTunes App Store Wednesday to assist sports fans in finding the closest and cheapest available parking on football game days.

The apps are available in separate versions for MSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and Purdue’s campuses and surrounding areas for the cost of $1.99.

“It’s going to be, hopefully, helpful for visiting fans who are coming into town to find parking,” app developer John Ross said.

Ross came up with the idea after traveling to different stadiums throughout the Big Ten and Midwest in recent years, he said.

He sent a survey team to each of the cities to map out the parking areas and collect data on them including price, walking distance to the stadium and whether or not it allows alcohol on the premises.

“Spending $1.99 on an app may save you $20 in parking,” Ross said.

Unlike some of the other featured locations, East Lansing presented a challenge when collecting parking sites, due to laws regulating residents soliciting parking areas on their lawn, a practice commonly seen near other venues.

“The city ordinance states that there is no parking on your lawn — period,” East Lansing Police Capt. Bill Mitchell said. “There are a lot of cars in town (for football games), granted, but really, I think there are spaces for them.”

Ross plans to create more apps in the near future for the rest of the Big Ten and eventually to other conferences and schools throughout the nation.

The initial release will serve as a test and if reactions are positive, Ross said an Android and tablet version are possible.

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