Husker gameday guide: Tips on travel, parking and more

Husker gameday guide: Tips on travel, parking and more

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The first Husker game of the season is Saturday, but at least some of the action begins Friday.

Football Fridays

The sixth season of the Nebraska Alumni Association's Football Fridays kicks off Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Railyard, 350 Canopy St. Football Fridays are held before each Nebraska home football game.

Featured guests for the first Football Friday of the season include former Huskers Matt Davison and Steve Taylor, along with Mitch Sherman of ESPN.com and Mike Babcock of Hail Varsity. The group will preview Nebraska's season opener and answer questions about the team. Greg Sharpe of the Husker Sports Network will emcee.

Football Fridays also include children's games, prizes and performances by the Husker Spirit Squad and pep band. A Football Friday Family Night is planned for Sept. 5, featuring the Lincoln Children's Zoo, Lincoln Children's Museum and University of Nebraska State Museum.

All events are free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available for purchase at surrounding restaurants.

Football Friday dates and themes for the rest of this season: Sept. 19 (Miami), 1990s night tribute to the 1994 national championship team; Sept. 26 (Illinois), Homecoming celebration with 125 years of football trivia; Oct. 24 (Rutgers), Weekend of Champions with special guests from championship teams; Oct. 31 (Purdue), Husker trick-or-treat night; Nov. 21 (Minnesota), post-season preview.

For more information, visit huskeralum.org/football-fridays.

Traffic

To beat gameday traffic and parking challenges, the city recommends visiting lincoln.ne.gov for maps and street construction information, arriving early and celebrating downtown after games. 

On football gamedays, Interstate 80 exits at I-180/Downtown and 27th Street can be congested, so visitors are encouraged to use other routes into town.

* From the east, take the U.S. 6 or 56th Street exits off I-80. From Cornhusker Highway, turn south at State Fair Park Drive and follow Salt Creek Roadway west to reach Memorial Stadium and parking facilities east of the stadium and in the West Haymarket.

* From the west, exit I-80 at Homestead Expressway/U.S. 77 South, then go east on Rosa Parks Way toward downtown. To park in lots near Haymarket Park, get off I-80 at the airport exit.

* The I-80 westbound onramp from U.S. 6/West O Street has been closed. Use the Northwest 48th Street interchange.

* Stadium Drive west of the stadium will be closed to all vehicular traffic. Passenger drop-off and pick-up are not allowed in front of the stadium before or after games. Drop off and pick up passengers at 12th and R streets.

* Only StarTran buses and people using UNL lots 12, 22 and 23 or handicapped parking will be allowed west of 16th Street on Vine.

* Bike UNL will offer a free bike valet service for all home games. Drop off bikes on the east side of Cook Pavilion near 14th and W streets two hours before kickoff.

Big Red Express

StarTran's Big Red Express service starts two hours before kickoff from several Lincoln locations.

* City Municipal Service Center, Northwest 12th and West Bond streets (I-80 airport exit 399)

* Southeast Community College, 88th and O streets, south parking lot

* Holmes Lake, 70th Street and Normal Boulevard

* Gateway Mall, 61st and O streets, north of JC Penney

* SouthPointe Pavilions, 27th and Pine Lake Road, south of Von Maur

* North Star High School, 5801 N. 33rd St. (I-80 airport exit 403)

Buses drop off and depart from R Street between 12th and 14th streets. The cost is $5 each way, and passengers need exact change.

A Big Red Express season ticket, good for round-trip travel for all home games, is available for $50 (a potential $20 savings) at the StarTran office at 710 J St.; the office at SouthPointe Pavilions; or at lots on gamedays.

More, 402-476-1234 or startran.lincoln.ne.gov.

Parking

Most parking lots on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus are reserved on gamedays. Public parking is available for $15 a vehicle at the UNL parking garage at 17th and R streets.

The city recommends reserving reduced-price, prepaid event parking in city-owned lots at parkandgo.org. You can find a list of available lots there.

Several new parking garages are open this year south of Pinnacle Bank Arena: Red 1, 555 R St.; Blue 3, 535 P St.; and Lumberworks, 700 N St. Green 2, 530 P St., is expected to be open by the second home game.

Parking meters are enforced Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. All-day, on-street parking tags are available for $10 from any city parking employee wearing a Park & Go shirt at city-operated parking facilities.

UNL parking lots open at 6 a.m. for morning and afternoon games and 11 a.m. for night games.

Downtown

The renovation of P Street is nearly completed, and all P Street walking areas and streets will be open. Other downtown streets and sidewalks will be closed due to projects and events.

* Development south of the Gold’s building has closed lanes and sidewalks from 10th to 11th streets and M to N streets.

* Renovation of Nebraska’s Centennial Mall means some lane closures at intersections with N Street.

* Streets in the Haymarket will be closed Saturday mornings for the weekly Haymarket Farmers Market.

Nebraska’s Advanced Traveler Information System, 511, can be used to keep up with the latest weather and road conditions across the state. Motorists can access the 511 Mobile Traveler Site at www.ndortraveler.mobi or www.511.nebraska.gov or by dialing 511 from any cellular phone.

Anyone who observes a reckless driver, or anyone in need of non-emergency roadside assistance should call the Nebraska State Patrol helpline at *55 from their cellular phone. Motorists should report emergencies to 911.

In general

* Alcohol is prohibited on city streets, city and university parking lots, garages and sidewalks, including the trail between Haymarket Park and Eighth Street. Grills are not allowed in city garages.

* The sale of tickets, souvenirs or other items is not allowed on city streets or sidewalks.

* Backpacks, umbrellas and outside chairback seats are not allowed in Memorial Stadium. Plastic water bottles are permitted but may be inspected. Chairbacks may be rented inside the stadium for $5.

* Stadium gates open 90 minutes before kickoff. Re-entry to the stadium is banned after the start of the fourth quarter.

* The Husker Nation Pavilion, a gameday fun zone with games, music, autograph signings and special guest appearances, opens three hours before kickoff on the practice fields northeast of Memorial Stadium.

* The Saturday morning Haymarket Farmers Market will operate as scheduled on Husker gamedays.

Watch parties

If you're a fan but you don't have season tickets to get into the stadium, Pinnacle Bank Arena will have free watch parties for two home games.

The public is invited to watch the games for free on arena video boards. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

* Saturday: Florida Atlantic; game time 2:30 p.m., doors open at 1:30 p.m.

* Sept. 20: Miami; 7 p.m. game; doors open at noon

The Cube, a large video screen in the Railyard across the street from the arena, will show football games all day on Saturdays.

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