Traffic advisory: heavy football game-day traffic expected Saturday
Football fans are urged to allow extra travel time and to arrive early Saturday when the Duke Blue Devils host defending national champions University of Alabama at Wallace Wade Stadium.
About 38,000 fans are expected to pack Wallace Wade for the nationally-televised game on ABC. Duke has added temporary bleachers with more than 3,900 seats to accommodate an influx of Alabama fans. The official capacity of the football stadium is 33,941, which was reached in Duke’s opener against Elon University on Sept. 4.
“This is a unique and exciting situation,” said Kevin White, vice president and director of Athletics. “Interest in Duke football is as high as it has been in decades, which is a testament to the great work done by David Cutcliffe and his staff.”
The expected crowd will be the biggest at Wallace Wade Stadium since 1994 when 40,103 fans came out to see Duke play University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Due to the high number of fans traveling to Duke, motorists are encouraged to review parking areas and guidelines in advance and allow for extra travel time on and around Duke’s campus. Bob Weiseman, game operations manager for Athletics, said that fans need to follow recommended ingress routes onto campus.
“The biggest thing by far is to have everyone follow our game day guidelines,” Weiseman said. “We feel the recommend travel routes are the best options for each group of fans and while they may not be the most direct routes, they will often be the quickest.”
Starting with the season opener early this month, Duke has modified how fans can best get to lots to keep traffic moving on game days.
Parking lots close to Wallace Wade Stadium are reserved only for fans with state-issued handicapped passes and Iron Dukes members. Because space is limited, Duke has created these checkpoints where only approved Iron Dukes members and handicapped fans can travel beginning three hours prior to kick-off:
• Intersection of 751/Cameron Boulevard and Erwin Road
• Entrance to Science Drive from 751/Cameron Boulevard
• Entrance to Towerview Road from Erwin Road
• Entrance to Towerview Road from Duke University Road
• Intersection of Anderson Street and Duke University Road
• Intersection of 751/Cameron Boulevard and Duke University Road
Fans traveling from 15-501, Morreene Road, NC-147 and Fulton Street will have easy access to general public lots. These routes feed to Erwin Road, where electronic signs will direct motorists to public parking in eight lots off of Research and Flowers drives and Anderson and LaSalle streets.
Due to heavier than expected pedestrian traffic, golf cart shuttles from general public lots are no longer available. Handicap shuttles will still run from designated Blue Zone and Bassett Drive handicap parking locations to Wallace Wade Stadium.
Duke faculty, staff and students park for free in the general public lots with a valid Duke parking permit. Otherwise, general public parking is $10 per car (cash only). Fans can also ride the fare-free Bull City Connector to a stop at Flowers and Trent drives at Duke Medical Center, which drops off passengers about one mile from Wallace Wade Stadium.
Oversized vehicle parking for Duke fans with vehicles larger than 9-feet wide or 18-feet long will cost $100 cash. Duke fans park in Duke University Road lots by Campus Drive. Oversized parking for vehicles from Alabama cost $110 cash and will park in lots at South Square, off of 15-501. Duke will run shuttles to and from the South Square lots on Saturday at noon, 12:30, 1 and 1:15 p.m. After the game, buses will return fans to South Square until 9:45 p.m.
Fans can check out Duke Athletics’ full “A-Z” game day guide for more information.