Nebraska game poses parking challenges

The midweek game requires a parking shift Oct. 8.
Katie Prince / Graphic Designer

In two weeks, MU will host its first midweek football game in 17 years, taking on Nebraska on Oct. 8. In addition to the national attention brought on by ESPN's broadcast of the game, the Thursday night match presents issues with parking and traffic near the stadium on game day.

"The large influx of visitors and fans will require many changes in parking logistics to accommodate the crowds on the MU campus," said Karen Touzeau, assistant vice chancellor for human resource services, in an e-mail. "More than 7,000 students and 800 employees who park in lots around Memorial Stadium on weekdays will be required to relocate to other parking lots and garages closer to the heart of campus by 4 p.m. on Oct. 8."

Touzeau said there have been no talks of canceling classes for Oct. 8 as far as she knows, but she's encouraged university departments to have as many employees as possible vacate the campus by 3 p.m. on game day.

"One way to avoid congestion would be for departments to work with their staff to adjust their schedules or use vacation or personal days to take off a few hours early," Touzeau said in the e-mail. "The university is not closing but we are encouraging departments to consider operating with minimal staffing levels on that afternoon to allow employees to get out of the area and avoid the potential traffic congestion."

Parking and Transportation Services Director Jim Joy said students and faculty will have to park north of Rollins Street on game day and some space near the hospital will be unavailable to the general public.

"Neither Maryland Avenue Garage nor Parking Structure No. 7 will be available to fans, to keep spaces available for hospital employees since it's a weekday," Joy said. "That'll make it more congested in other lots, but it's something we need to do for a weekday game."

Students and faculty with parking permits for lots around Memorial Stadium will be reminded to move multiple times in the week before the Nebraska game, Joy said.

"Under normal circumstances on a Saturday game, we send an e-mail to people with parking permits in those areas and give them info on when they need to move," Joy said. "The same will happen for this game, but we will do it twice. Since this is a Thursday night game, we won't just do it on Tuesday, we'll do it on the Thursday or Friday of the week before."

Joy said lots around the stadium would probably be closed off sometime during the day.

"Lots around the stadium will function normally on Thursday morning," Joy said. "People with permits will be allowed into the lot, they'll be given a reminder that they need to leave by four and at 12 we'll probably close it off. At 4:30 the lots will open up for whoever's coming for the game."

The athletics department is hoping for a large crowd for the nationally televised game, said Sarah Baumgartner, athletics department executive director of development.

"With the game being televised nationally on ESPN, the entire university will gain exposure that we normally wouldn't experience on a typical game day Saturday," Baumgartner said. "Our game against Nebraska will be the only game on TV and it will provide us the national spotlight to show off both our football team and the university."

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