If you've ever been stuck in the parking lot at Broncos Stadium waiting for concert-goers or football fans to find a spot, you know how horrible it can be to drive to the venue. It's a slog to get in, and it's worse getting out.
That's why the City of Denver is encouraging fans attending Saturday's Garth Brooks concert at the stadium to take alternative transportation. The legendary country star sold more seats than any other artist in the stadium's history: 80,000-plus. There are even digital signs reading "Garth Brooks Concert Parking" as far away as Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Street.
What are fans supposed to do? Take the light rail, bus, bike or carpool (interestingly enough, the city isn't encouraging scooters).
The stadium is easily accessible by bus or light rail, which is so crowded after shows that we recommend walking downtown, past beautiful Elitch Gardens, and taking public transit from there. It's a hike, but it's faster than waiting around. RTD will be adding extra cars to the C and E lines about two hours before the concert, which begins at 7 p.m.; they'll run until Broncos Stadium is empty.
Go to RTD's website for more information about your options, or call 303-299-6000 to check schedules. If things seem fishy the night of the show — like trains just aren't running — you can always check the RTD Twitter account for semi-reliable updates and @-gripe at whatever poor soul is running the account.
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You really can ride a bike, since the stadium is near bike trails. When you get to the stadium, park your ride at one of 300 individual racks or go to the free bike valet parking near Gate Four. Plan your route at the city's bike map website. And wear a helmet!
On-site parking is likely to sell out before the show, so if you don't have pre-purchased parking, avoid the lots or you'll just clog up traffic more than the people who thought ahead and are still stuck waiting. You can also park at off-site lots on the Auraria campus and at the Pepsi Center and the Downtown Aquarium. If you have a handicap placard, parking will be available for sale the day of the show at the stadium in lots D, G and L.
While you might be lucky enough to find on-street parking, there are a lot of public-parking restrictions in the surrounding neighborhoods. Right of Way Enforcement agents will be out in full force, making sure the neighbors don't get overrun with country fans. And if you live in the area, make sure you have the correct residential parking permit posted in your car window from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, or you will be ticketed and towed. For more information, call 311 or go to the city's website.
When traffic's got you down, remember: You're much too young to feel this damn old.