GAMEDAY GEAR-UP: University, City prepare for Trojan crowd

Published 11:20 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Saturday will be a busy day for Trojan fans and Troy residents as people pour into the city to watch the season opener against the No. 22 Boise State Broncos.

As fans make their way to the stadium, there are a few things to keep in mind including changes to parking and tailgating areas.

“The big thing is the RVs have been moved down to the Trojan Arena parking lot now,” said Herbert Reeves, dean of student services. The parking had to be moved from the former Sartain Hall parking lot, which is now the site of a new recreation facility that is under construction.

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The majority of the Trojan Arena Lot will close for RV parking on Friday morning, August 31.  Those areas reserved for RV parking will be blocked off.  People parking in this area will need to have their vehicles moved before 8 a.m. on Friday.  There are some areas in this lot that will not be blocked for RV parking.  These areas can be used for parking on Friday.

Tailgating remains mostly the same, Reeves said, but a few changes had to be made due to the construction of the new recreation facility and the demolition ongoing at Sartain Hall.

“We did have some spaces outside of Sartain between there and the parking lot that had to be moved and people that tailgated on the west side of Sartain, those have been moved around because of the demolition,” Reeves said. “We had to move some spaces around but we are still able to accommodate everybody; everybody that has requested a tent has been accommodated.”

University workers were hard at work Wednesday morning setting up the tents for the tailgate.

The majority of the parking will remain the same as previous years, Reeves said.

The east parking lot of Pace Hall will be used for handicapped parking during games.  All residents should have their vehicles moved from this lot no later than 8 a.m. on Saturday, as unauthorized vehicles in this lot after 8 a.m. will be towed at the owner’s expense, Reeves said.

The Stadium Tower Lot, the Soccer/Track Lot, the north Trojan Center Lot, the new lot across from the Trojan Center, the North Stadium Lot and the Hawkins Lot will all close at 8 a.m. on Saturday for game day parking.  All unauthorized vehicles (those without game day parking credentials) will be subject to towing after 8 a.m.

University Avenue will close for all through traffic at 8 a.m. on Saturday from George Wallace Drive to the round-about at the dining hall.  People exiting the east side of campus will need to do so through the round-about at the lagoon.  This road will reopen after game day traffic has cleared following the game.

Luther Drive will closed for all traffic at 8 a.m. on Saturday from the round-about at the lagoon to the intersection of University Avenue.  Only those with approved parking credentials will be allowed into this area beginning at 8:00 a.m.   This road will reopen after game day traffic has cleared following the game.

McKinley Drive will be temporarily opened Saturday to help traffic flow to and from the game, and will be reclosed Saturday once the game traffic has dispersed.

Once again, a portion of George Wallace Drive will be blocked off beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday to allow for pedestrian traffic across the busy road.

Troy Police Chief Randall Barr said police are preparing for congestion around town as attendance for the game is expected to be high.

“This is the first ballgame of the year we’re expecting it possibly being a record crowd,” Barr said. “Traffic on U.S. Highway 231, downtown and in general is going to be congested. People need to be mindful that traffic will be heavier than usual and to expect delays. We’re going to get people through just as quick as we can.”

Barr said residents should avoid the busiest areas if possible and they themselves are not trying to go to the game. He also urged drivers to remain focused on the roadway and not on cell phones or other distractions.

Fans that want to forgo the traffic can park downtown and catch a shuttle to the game, which will run three hours prior to kickoff. The shuttle will also pick up passengers at hotels and motels on U.S. Highway 231 on the way to the game. The bus will drop riders off at the Alumni House across from the stadium and will pick them up from the house after the game.

Reeves said golf carts will also be riding around campus to shuttle fans to the game, but they are primarily to assist the handicapped and elderly, although they will pick up other fans as well. The carts won’t be running off campus, so Reeves suggested residents that can’t get a close spot park downtown or at a hotel to catch a bus.

Reeves said a record crowd is expected for the game.

“It’s the season opener coming off of a Sun Belt win,” Reeves said. “It is going to be an awesome year to see what direction we go. And, of course, we’re facing Boise State, which is in the top 25. When you play a top 25 team, you’re going to draw a crowd.”