Busy stadiums? Rental cars flood Dodger, Angel stadium parking lots – Daily News



Empty parking lots have become a familiar sight as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage Southern California’s business community.

With meetings, conferences and most other face-to-face activities now being conducted online or not at all, parking lots look like virtual ghost towns.

But Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium and Santa Anita Park are overflowing with thousands of rental cars that are sitting idle amid a severe downturn in travel.

Hundreds of rental cars are being temporarily parked at Dodger Stadium as travel continues to constrict amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many rental lots are now closed. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing/Photographer)

Lisa Martini, a spokeswoman with Enterprise Holdings, which owns the Enterprise, National and Alamo brands, said her company is working with Santa Anita to stage many of its cars there while the vehicles are being prepared and processed for rental, lease or sale.

Business, she said, has fallen sharply in the face of the COVID-19 health crisis.

“Like others across the travel industry – and countless other companies large and small – we have witnessed an impact to our business,” Martini said via email. “This includes a significant decrease in reservations and customer demand as both corporate business and leisure travel have come to a virtual standstill.”

Pete Siberell, Santa Anita’s director of community services and special projects, said the parking arrangement makes sense.

“With Santa Anita not being able to race and having postponed many of our events, much of our parking lot space was available for us to help and we were glad to do so,” he said.

Furloughs, shuttered rental branches

Enterprise announced Monday it has furloughed an undisclosed number of workers — a policy the company said will remain in effect “for the next several weeks.”

Avis Budget Group reported last week that reservations for April and beyond are down 60% and that more contraction is likely. Hertz Global Holdings, which includes the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty brands, said, “the reversal in customer demand has been significant.”

In a statement released last week, Hertz said it has been consolidating rental locations amid the COVID-19 outbreak while also implementing employee furlough programs across its North American operations to align staffing levels with the slowdown in demand.

“This was a very difficult decision and was not easily made, knowing that many good people would be affected,” the statement said. “The company hopes to bring back as many team members as possible once global travel rebounds.”

Adam Chodzko, a spokesman for Angel Stadium, said Enterprise has more than two thousand vehicles parked there.

“They began moving them in on March 17,” he said. “They are a corporate sponsorship partner for the Los Angeles Angels. When one of your partners reaches out for assistance we were happy to lend a hand.”