Commonwealth Stadium changes challenging, but officials promise 'fun' day

jwarren@herald-leader.comAugust 28, 2014 

About $120 million in renovation work at Commonwealth Stadium, along with fewer parking places, new traffic routes and other changes, could pose challenges for fans at Saturday's University of Kentucky football season opener.

But university and city officials promise they'll make every effort to ensure a safe, fun and memorable day for everybody.

"We're doing everything possible so that people are not inconvenienced and are safe when they attend the game," UK President Eli Capilouto said Thursday. "What's most important ... is everybody's safety, and respect for our neighbors, especially those who are closest to our stadium."

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray promised the city's help in getting fans to the stadium as quickly and efficiently as possible. Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin said officers will enforce rules against parking on lawns, and other regulations.

Here are some rules changes, and suggestions that fans should know for the Wildcats' game against the UT Martin Skyhawks:

Stadium traffic, parking

■ Gates 10 and 11 will be closed all season for renovation.

■ Follow recommended routes into the stadium.

■ Familiarize yourself with new traffic routes and parking areas around Commonwealth. Overall, there will be about 300 fewer parking spaces this year.

■ Monitor AM 1700, UK's low-power radio station, for traffic updates on game day.

■ Arrive early, and display your parking pass on your vehicle's dashboard.

■ No parking is allowed on any green spaces, including neighborhood lawns.

■ No tow-behind trailers are permitted on paved lots in the stadium complex without a permit.

■ If you aren't using permit stadium parking, consider the UK Football Express downtown shuttle as an alternative.

Safety and security

■ Increased pedestrian traffic around the stadium is expected, and there will be more crosswalks this year. Also, most stadium gates will be in construction areas. So use extreme caution.

■ All bags will be subject to search; large bags and backpacks are prohibited. You can bring one small bag no larger than 13.5 by 10 by 7 inches.

■ Hospital Drive, connecting South Limestone to University Drive, will be open only for UK Medical Center emergency room traffic on game days.

For more information, go to UKathletics.com/fbgameday/new.html.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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