Thousands of people will make their way to Baylor’s campus come football season with the opening of McLane Stadium. With this comes several changes to game day, such as parking and tailgating. Baylor administrators have worked to plan for these activities for the past few months.
Originally, the editorial board was dissatisfied with the plan for parking. However, after sitting down with Brian Nicholson, the Associate Vice President for Facility, Planning and Construction, we have a better understanding of why the plan was chosen. It is clear Baylor administration thought through this plan and are willing to alter it as it is tested on the first few games.
On game days, the law school parking lot, Dutton garage and Speight garage will closed to students without a gameday pass.
Students will be asked to move their cars from these locations the day before the game. This was one of the biggest issues the editorial board saw with the plan.
On the average weekend, there are 529 cars in the Dutton garage out of 1112 spaces. There are 55 cars out of 900 in the Speight garage. The law school lot offers 379 spaces. This means only about 584 cars would need to be moved prior to game day.
For the cars that aren’t moved by game day, Nicholson said parking services would make every effort to reach the owner of the car to remind them to move their car.
Students have the option of relocating their car to any other location on campus, including the East Village garage, which has an average of 350 spaces being used on the weekends out of 1100.
Attendees will have the option of purchasing a parking spot at the Ferrell Center, Robinson Tower, Speight garage, Dutton garage or at the law school. This way, more people will have access to parking close to the stadium beyond just the season-ticket holders.
The City of Waco has also offered four public lots for people to use on game days. There will be a shuttle from these lots to the game.
For those who are disabled or who are working at the games, parking is available at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative building. Shuttles will transport these people to and from the game.
Next semester, there will be more variety in parking passes available. On-campus, off-campus and law school student stickers are being made in order to help organize game days. Campus will also be easier to access on game days for students with parking passes. Campus will be blocked off starting a few hours before the game until around half time. Students that do not attend the game can gain access to campus through Third Street as long as they have an on-campus parking sticker. The point of this plan is to avoid a gridlock on campus.
Students who don’t have an on-campus sticker would need to come to campus earlier in the day to park or wait until the lockdown is lifted. The lockdown only lasts around five hours on game day, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem with a little extra planning on the student’s part.
One key factor in making this plan work is the shuttle schedule. Shuttle locations around campus can carry students, faculty, staff and other attendees to the game and back, which helps alleviate any concern in finding a parking spot.
Baylor administration used a company to examine several options, including the possibility of building a parking garage specifically next to the stadium. However, a garage so close to the stadium with so many cars going in and out of it would be bottlenecked quickly, so this option isn’t as appealing as the current plan.
Floyd Casey Stadium had 4,700 parking spots available for attendees. Now there are 5,400 total spots, with some reserved specifically for students as seen with the East Village garage.
Baylor administration has planned well for the inevitable 45,000 people who will flock to campus on game days. There are still kinks to work out, such as how parking will work on Thursday games or whether or not student cars will be towed if they aren’t moved in time.
This plan helps protect student parking on campus during games and seems like it will be affective at directing traffic. If not, Baylor is willing to reformat its plan.