St. Augustine approves $400K to pay for shuttle system for Mumford & Sons concert

By Ashley Mitchem, Morning traffic, news reporter, amitchem@wjxt.com
Published On: Jul 23 2013 01:27:52 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2013 06:32:51 PM EDT

It's one of the biggest festivals to come to Saint Augustine in years, and city leaders are already gearing up for the tens of thousand of people expected to show up. The 'Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Concert' is a 2-day music festival featuring the group Mumford and Sons.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -

Thousands of people will flock to Francis Field in September for the Mumford & Sons concert, and the city of St. Augustine is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a shuttle system to prevent traffic mayhem downtown.

The City Commission approved $417,000 to pay for a shuttle system that will handle the concert attendees as well as pay other pre-concert expenses.

Air conditioned charter buses will take people from various pickup points to the Visitor Information Center downtown.

"I think that's a great idea because the parking, that was one of my main concerns was, parking's going to be horrendous," concert ticket holder Jonathan Correa said.

The bus shuttle system is supposed to keep St. Augustine's downtown from being flooded with cars looking for parking spaces and direct cars to the Northeast Florida Regional Airport and other sites.

"I think it's going to bring a lot of business, a lot of tourists," Correa said.

The concert venue, Francis Field, will hold 25,000 standing-room-only customers for the big concert set for Sept. 14.

"What was approved last night is the maximum amount we think we'll need to put on a shuttle parking system that will generate revenue for us," Mayor Joe Boles said.

The city set aside $417,838 for the shuttle system. It expects to collect $150,000 in parking and transit revenues, as an estimated 10,000 people would need to buy a $15 wrist band to use the shuttle.

AC Entertainment will pay $81,953 to the city for use of Francis Field. The city also expects to clear $25,000 from the $1 it collects from the 25,000 tickets sold.

"Once you go in, you're not trapped there. You can come in and out," Boles said.

Castillo Drive will be blocked off that Friday. City officials are working on a plan to pre-sell parking spaces at the Downtown Parking Structure at $40 per car, per night.

"People out of their cars is what we want," Boles said. "People have to get out of their cars to spend money. People have to get out of their cars to experience St. Augustine."

People are coming from all across the country for this concert. In fact, tickets have been bought in every state except South Dakota.

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