CBS Reporters Discover Illegal Parking Operation Near SoFi Stadium; Quickly Shut Down By Authorities
INGLEWOOD (CBSLA) – When CBS 2 reporter Tena Ezzeddine was in Inglewood on Sunday, reporting on the Rams showdown versus the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium in the NFC Championship game, she noticed something out of the ordinary across the street from the arena.
As she surveyed her surroundings, she noticed a displaced chainlink fence, leaning up against the wall of a building next door to an empty lot with overgrown grass.
On that lot sat dozens of cars, and with those cars Rams and 49ers fans aplenty - tailgating ahead of the game.
Upon further investigation she was introduced to a man who went simply as "Charles," who was offering fans premium parking right across the street from SoFi for just $100 dollars.
It proved too good to be true when law enforcement arrived, shutting down the operation which proved to be illegal, primarily based off of the fact that Charles and his partner didn't actually own the lot they were allowing people to park in.
Cameras caught an officer berating Charles after he was found out, "You can't open a parking lot that you don't own!"
Many of the patrons were given their money back, and directed to leave the area to find another parking - legal - parking lot. However, upon the arrival of authorities, Charles' partner bolted from the scene, with half of the money the partnership earned in hand.
Some fans who paid upwards of $100, on top of the monumental ticket prices and fees that they paid to attend the NFC Championship in the first place, left empty-handed and without a parking spot for the game.
Charles attempted to explain himself after his operation got shut down,"Hey, I'm making the fans happy!"
But that wasn't enough for some of the people who got scammed on Sunday, including one family who paid an extra $20 just to tailgate in the lot. "What're we gonna do now?" the man asked when he was directed away from the area by law enforcement.
"Not real happy about it," he continued.
They were concerned with how easily something like this happened, during one of the biggest events of the NFL season. "One of the biggest games of the year, besides the Super Bowl. How can this happen at this big of a stage?"
Charles remained at the scene to pay back the patrons he could with the half of the money that his partner left behind, "It wasn't right. That's why I gave every dime back. I'm just sorry and that's all I can do," he told Ezzeddine after his operation was overturned.
Fans who parked at SoFi Stadium paid quite a bit more for their spot than the people across the street did, with rates at an all-time high, between $700 and $1,000 according to some fans.
It doesn't help that the NFL had already began setting up for Super Bowl LVI, which will be held at SoFi on Feb. 13, taking up a large portion of several parking lots that surround the stadium.
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