If you and your crew are planning to throw a tailgate party this Saturday at Sun Life Stadium before the University of Miami/North Carolina game, there are a couple of changes that you need to be aware of before game day.
Some UM students like Tom Cerra said some kind of change was needed.
“The parking has been horrendous getting in and getting out,” said Cerra.
It all came to a head during October 9th’s big matchup between the Canes and Florida State University.
“We had a lot of traffic delays and people having issues getting into the stadium and in addition to that we had a lot of unruly behavior inside the stadium,” said UM assistant athletic director Erik Book, “The police were overwhelmed that day.”
So what are these big ‘game day enhancements’?
First of all, if you plan to tailgate with your friends, it’s going to take some planning.
Beginning this Saturday, the stadium will change to directional parking and fans will be directed to parking spots by stadium staff. In the past fans could park anywhere they wanted to for the first hour after the gates opened. University officials said they made the change because in the past open parking created several safety issues and made vehicle movement difficult for the majority of fans who arrive in the three-hour time-frame immediately prior to kickoff.
Groups of fans that want to tailgate together will need to enter as a caravan of cars or plan to arrive at the stadium at the same time.
Students like Cesar Gomez, who like to tailgate with his friends, don’t like the new rules.
“Usually I have to find my way to my friends, we always park in West 22 it’s like a tradition for us,” said Gomez. “So for us to follow a caravan and them tell us where to park, it’s probably not going to work too well.”
The good news is that the parking lot will now be open for five hours before the kick off. Parking lot gates will open at 2:30 pm for the North Carolina game.
To let fans driving to the game know what kind of traffic conditions to expect, UM, Sun Life Stadium and security will post updates on the turnpike’s electronic signs, temporary roadside signs and 560 WQAM. As parking lots fill and congestion areas develop on the streets leading into the stadium, WQAM will alert fans to alternate routes on a regular basis.
Also fans will notice a major increase in security staff, law enforcement and university personnel monitoring game day atmosphere. Anyone who encounters a problem at the game is urged to contact a security officer or send a text to 41513, type the word FAN followed by a space and your explanation of the situation.