Garth Brooks parking nightmare: Imagine LSU football, baseball, track meet on same day | News

LSU is accustomed to moving huge crowds onto and off campus, with Tiger Stadium, the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and Alex Box Stadium drawing sellout crowds several times a year.

Saturday night’s Garth Brooks concert will still pose a challenge, particularly with everyone staying until the end of the show rather than trickling out in the second half of sporting events.

“Imagine having a baseball game, a softball game and a track meet on the same day as a football game,” said Dan Gaston, LSU’s senior associate director of facility management. Except, Saturday, it will not be imaginary.

Brooks will perform in Baton Rouge for the first time in 24 years Saturday, as he resumes his “Garth Brooks Stadium Tour” that began in 2019 but was interrupted because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Tiger Stadium show will be his first in Louisiana since 2017. It’s expected to draw more than 102,000 people.

Stadium gates will open at 5 pm and the show is set to start at 7 pm Mayhem in the parking lot will start hours earlier because parking will be more restricted than on a typical football Saturday. Lots for pre-paid reserved parking, which are sold out, will open at 7 am Saturday.

“It’s a little different because we have some things going on and some typical parking spots that we have available all day on a football game day we do not have for this,” Gaston said.

Free parking is available in lots closer to the Mississippi River levee, the hayfield lot south of campus, in lots east of Highland Road, including Parker Coliseum, and lots on the north side of campus near Spruce Hall.

First-come, first-served paid parking available on the day of the concert will be available for $ 30 at Lot 408 and Lot 409, out near Alex Box Stadium, opening at 5 pm Lot 104 parking near the Bernie Moore Track Stadium will cost $ 40 and opens at 4 p.m.

Weather permitting, the Old Front Nine of the former LSU golf course will also open for day-of-event parking for $ 30. All lots are cashless and only credit card payment will be accepted.

Gaston said that LSU will make a significant amount of money from the event on parking, but that it will mainly go to expenses such as staffing law enforcement in certain areas.

“The revenue from parking just goes into one big pot where we pay our expenses, so we do not really look at it as just parking revenue or any other revenue,” Gaston said. “Everything comes into one pot where we take the expenses out and go from there. ”

Because of the limited parking availability, Gaston said he expects some people to tailgate or hang around the stadium all day as the concert nears.

“I still think our guests will tailgate because that’s just in our culture. But will it be as big as football? I do not know, we’re setting up everything like port-a-potties and restrooms on campus,” he said . “Those buildings will be set up for a football game, so we’re treating it very similar to a big game.”

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With LSU softball and baseball games at home earlier in the day, along with a track meet, Gaston suggested that concert attendees should come to the games and stay in the area until Brooks’ performance.

“Come out and tailgate, drink some beers, sit at your car, go with friends, come to the softball game, come to baseball and enjoy those types of things before coming to Garth,” Gaston said. “Imagine the biggest Alabama or Florida game and it’s going to be that and maybe some more, to be honest. ”

Motorhome parking passes are still available for purchase in the Touchdown Village 1 parking lot off South Quad Drive.

Motorhomes are allowed to enter beginning at 5 pm Friday. Spaces are $ 250 for the weekend and specific spaces are not reserved.

Free ADA parking with a shuttle is available at Lot 406 off Skip Bertman Drive. After the concert, the shuttle will pick up in front of Nicholson Gateway.

According to Gaston, the Baton Rouge Police Department, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana State Police will be among the agencies providing security and aiding with traffic throughout the day.

One of the key differences in monitoring traffic between a big football game day and a concert, Gaston said, is the way people exit the event.

“People leave at halftime or in the third quarter or whenever at a football game,” he said. “But for this, nobody’s leaving until Garth steps off the stage. We do not know exactly when that time will be, we’re guessing sometime between 10:30 pm and 11:15 pm”

Because of the difference in exit strategies, BRPD public information officer L’Jean McKneely said BRPD will manage the end of the concert slightly differently than a normal Tiger Stadium sporting event.

“We’re expecting everyone to leave at the same time at the end of the concert, so we’re asking everyone to be patient,” McKneely said. “Know that there’s likely going to be a large crowd with a wait time, so just follow the instructions that officers give.”

Even with the planning and preparation that goes into preparing an event of this size, Gaston said he’s excited to see the concert take place after having it delayed for a year.

“This concert was actually supposed to happen last year around this time, but we were not sure about being able to have it full and it got postponed a year,” he said. “So having it here and having the stadium full is awesome.”

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