If you’ve ever been to a concert or college football game, you know how frustrating it can be to find a parking space. You’re likely to circle past open fields and empty businesses searching for one 9-by-20-foot plot of land while everyone else parties like rock stars.
Search no more.
Steven Zapata and three friends have created FanSpotz — an app to match folks with extra space (and who don’t mind making a buck) with others who need to park. The University of Arkansas alums began in and around the Fayetteville campus, and the project was so successful, they launched in Dallas and Ft. Worth.
“FanSpotz is a two-sided marketplace, similar to Uber or Lyft,” Zapata says. “Hosts list descriptions of the spaces they have to offer and set their price, and fans browse availability to find a spot based on proximity and budget. The payment is handled on the app, which takes away the need to carry cash. Nobody carries cash anymore.”
Zapata says his old buddies can’t wait to sign up.
“I think it’s interesting to see what Dallas is like now, compared to when I lived there,” Zapata says. “I saw this problem all these year ago, and now I’m able to propose a solution. That’s exciting. I’ve already talked to friends who’ve said, ‘OMG, we need this. We used to go to Greenville Avenue. I wish this technology was available then.’”
Zapata says hosts may be homeowners, businesses, churches, schools — virtually anyone.
“We’ve had several charities sign up,” Zapata says. “We can accommodate any size, whether they have one spot or 20. It’s very user-friendly.”
FanSpotz launched in DFW June 21, and Zapata admits the venture needs more local hosts and fans to truly be successful. Target hosts have space near Lower Greenville, Uptown, Knox-Henderson, SMU’s Ford Stadium, Fair Park, Bishop Arts, Main Street Garden and Klyde Warren Park.
“We’re still trying to raise awareness,” he says. “People are beginning to hear about us, but we need people near hot areas and happening places, and we need people who attend lots of events.”
Zapata, who now lives in northwest Arkansas with his wife and young daughter, says his team chose DFW as their first expansion site because of his experience in Dallas and its great location. A third site hasn’t been chosen.
“Anywhere parking is an issue due to multiple events at the same time would work well,” says Zapata. “Places like Austin and Charleston are ideal.”
FanSpotz is running a promo, and you can receive $5 off when you enter FSNOW. You may follow them on Instagram and Facebook at FanSpotzDFW, and they’re offering investment opportunities to allow expansion into other markets.
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.