ARLINGTON – The parking lots of north Arlington will be full of tailgaters during the next three days and – motorists beware! – the roads likely will be awash in taillights. The Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys both are hosting St. Louis sports teams at their respective home fields in Arlington, a whammy of major events that presents special challenges for area traffic planners. Motorists are urged to be patient and to build in extra travel time, whether they’re attending one of the games or simply commuting through the city.
The fun begins Saturday, when the Texas Rangers host game three of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. for that baseball game, as well as games four and five on Sunday and Monday. The biggest crunch likely will be Sunday afternoon, when the Rangers game is preceeded by a Dallas Cowboys football game against the St. Louis Rams, across the street from the ballpark at Cowboys Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:15 p.m., and some Cowboys fans will seek to park in Rangers’ lots.
“It’s tight, and it’s more traffic than there would be on a normal day, but it’s not going to be horrible,” said Arlington police spokeswoman Tiara Ellis Richard. “The biggest challenge is sharing parking spaces.”
Roughly 80,000 people could attend the football game and, later that day, a crowd of nearly 50,000 is expected to pack Rangers Ballpark. For those planning to attend either game, officials from the city and both clubs can only suggest arriving as early as possible. Rangers parking lots open at 2 p.m., and the ballpark opens at 4 p.m., giving fans times to tailgate and/or catch 4:15 p.m. batting practice.
Cowboys ticket holders who have prepurchased parking in Rangers lots will be allowed to park there, but football fans who wish to pay cash for parking will not have access to Rangers lots. “Our fans will be loading in between noon and 3 p.m.,” said Cowboys spokesman Brett Daniels. “Traffic will be heavier but we feel like most people will be in place for our game” before the bulk of the Rangers traffic arrives.
Police are recommending that baseball fans arrive between 3 and 6 p.m., Richard said.
For police and other traffic officials, the greatest challenge may come Monday, when fans arriving for a prime time World Series game will mingle with weekday commuters trying to get in or out of Arlington after work. “It’s easier to do two events on a Sunday than to put on a major event Monday night,” said Michael Morris, transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. “On Sunday you don’t have the background traffic of the work week.” Morris agreed that the ongoing construction of the Texas 360/Division Street interchange continues to place a burden on other access points to the Arlington entertainment district., including Collins Street and Six Flags Drive. The $56 million makeover includes construction of new road and railroad bridges over Texas 360, as well as improved freeway ramps and frontage roads.
Juggling crowds at simultaneous events has become old hat in Arlington. Earlier this month, the Rangers played a playoff game while a Taylor Swift concert was held at Cowboys Stadium. A year ago, the Rangers played a playoff game while Texas A&M played Arkansas at the football stadium. Plenty of parking is available at entreprenural lots within walking distance of both sports venues. Police recommend parking at a lot licensed by the city – just look for a circular, bright green sign with the letter P. “You’ll have a much better chance that your car will be there when you get back,” Richard said.
- Follow Arlington police on Twitter – the agency’s Twitter account handle is @ArlingtonPD.) for up-to-the-minute traffic updates.
- For Rangers fans, additional cash parking for Sunday’s game will also be available on Rangers Lot H, with access from the Nolan Ryan Expressway between Copeland Road and Road to Six Flags; at Hurricane Harbor; and in the Star Lot on Magic Mile, between Road to Six Flags and Arlington Downs. Also, Rangers fans can pay to park at Cowboys lots Saturday and Monday.
- Road to Six Flags closed earlier this week for construction of a World Series hospitality area, from Ballpark Way to the Nolan Ryan Expressway traffic circle, and will remain closed through Oct. 26Wednesday.
- For more information, visit Arlington’s website at www.arlingtontx.gov/worldseries/. Also, additional Rangers parking info is at texas.rangers.mlb.com/tex/ballpark/directions_parking and Cowboys parking info is at www.dallascowboysmaps.com.