Garth Brooks’ heroic return to Houston this past weekend, for his first concerts here since 1998, came at a premium for some people. The concert we saw, Friday’s 7 p.m. show, was every bit as amazing as we expected (if not more); then he did three more just like them — a late show Friday and two more Saturday — to a total audience numbering more than 65,000 fans, according to Toyota Center officials. And whatever they may have paid, Brooks gave them their money’s worth and then some.
That includes the hefty parking fees. True, Brooks has nothing to do with the parking rates at his shows, and other events like the Astros-Yankees series and Saturday’s Pride parade certainly drew heavy crowds downtown as well. And it’s still nowhere near what lots around Minute Maid Park went for at Beyonce and Jay Z’s “On the Run” tour stop last summer, as much as $100 in some cases. But walking north toward Toyota Center, past the Pierce Elevated we noticed the rates tick up from $25 outside Jet Lounge to $50 directly across the street from Toyota Center. And then, oddly, it dropped back down to only $15 a block further north, at the lot across La Branch from the Embassy Suites. Not sure what was up with that, but the handful of people walking by at that moment — who had presumably just forked over a lot more a block or two away — sure weren’t happy about it.
On the other hand, Garth’s T-shirt prices are perfectly reasonable, most clocking in between $25 and 40. So if you’re headed to see him and Tricia Yearwood this coming Friday and Saturday nights (check ticket availability at Toyota Center’s site; the venue released more seats Monday), or headed back again, you might want to stop by an ATM first. Or else just take the light rail.
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Note: after this article was published, a representative of Lone Star Cab reached out to us, wanting us to know that the company is also available as an alternative to parking downtown, and cabs can be hailed by either the LSC app or by calling 713-444-4444.