WACO (November 6, 2013) The showdown between the Bears and the Sooners Thursday evening at Waco's Floyd Casey Stadium could mean a major slowdown in stadium-area traffic as a near-record number of fans head to the game at the same time thousands of area residents are headed home from work.
Waco police officers will be positioned beginning at around 4 p.m. Thursday along South Valley Mills Drive, Dutton Avenue, Clay Avenue and Franklin Avenue as drivers approach parking lots around the stadium, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.
Swanton, who’s been involved in stadium traffic control for about five years, said he expects the game to draw the biggest bunch of fans he's ever encountered.
Tickets for the game are sold out and the university expects a crowd of at least 50,000 fans for only the sixth time in the stadium’s 60-year history and for the first time since Oct. 29, 2006 when a record 51,385 turned out for the Baylor-Texas A&M game.
"South Valley Mills Drive from the interstate to the stadium we expect will be a nightmare," Swanton said.
Fans who don’t head to the stadium early will also have to contend with normal rush-hour traffic, Swanton said, which could mean additional backups.
"Fans should try to get there early to find a good parking space and take advantage of the tailgate parties," Swanton said.
And he suggests that residents who aren’t going to the game find alternate routes home Thursday evening to avoid the stadium area.
Swanton said he will send out live updates on the Waco police Facebook and Twitter sites so fans headed to the stadium can keep up with minute-by-minute traffic conditions.