Basketball game attendees will be able to use Parking Panda, a service founded by Nick Miller (COL ’10) that allows users to reserve parking spaces in private lots and garages, at the Verizon Center this season.
“The idea is that you plan the rest of your life — [you] buy a ticket on Ticketmaster [and] make a reservation on OpenTable — [but] parking is always that unknown case,” Miller said, “We allow drivers to go online or to their mobile phone [and] find and reserve a place to park, so you know exactly where you’re going, what you’re paying and that you have a guaranteed space when you get there.”
Parking Panda can be used to secure spots in commercial lots and garages, but the company cannot reserve metered street parking areas. The service also allows local residents to rent their driveways to interested customers by creating an account on Parking Panda’s website and listing their spot with a description and set price.
Miller was inspired to start Parking Panda by his childhood in Baltimore, when he often saw local residents holding up cardboard signs to rent their available parking spaces during major events.
While a student at Georgetown, Miller said that his driveway in his off-campus house was wasted, as none of his roommates had a car. A parking spot reservation site seemed like the perfect way to solve this problem and navigate the chaos that often surrounds the Verizon Center on game days.
Though originally launched in Baltimore and the District, Miller has expanded Parking Panda to Philadelphia and San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, and Miller has high hopes for the future of the company.
“Every major city on the map is the goal,” he said.
Prices for parking at Georgetown basketball games range from $5 to $7, and customers can currently reserve spaces months in advance, with parking available for every game until the game against Syracuse in March.
Parking Panda also offers spaces for Nationals baseball games, D.C. United soccer games and concerts at the 9:30 Club.