ASU football home opener to make traffic tricky in Tempe on Thursday
PHOENIX — The Arizona State University Sun Devils football team was scheduled to begin its 2017 season Thursday night, which meant traffic in Tempe would likely be bad.
Though kickoff was not scheduled until 7:30 p.m., the city said it would begin closing streets around Sun Devil Stadium — located near Rural Road and the Loop 202 — about five hours before the game starts.
The list of closures doubles two hours before kickoff and gets even longer before the game ends as police block streets to empty parking lots as quickly as possible.
The Arizona Department of Transportation said the nearby Loop 202 was also expected to see heavy traffic.
“We’ve all seen a football game that takes place at Sun Devil Stadium on a weekday,” spokesman Tom Herrmann said.
“Most of them are on the weekends, but with the stadium busy on a weekday — like a Thursday evening — I think drivers that follow Loop 202 to go home … they should expect additional traffic. They might want to look for other routes if they’re not going to the game.”
Thursday night’s game against the New Mexico State University Aggies will be ASU’s only home weeknight game of the season.
The Sun Devils will have a lot of questions to answer this season on both sides of the ball, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Craig Morgan.
The school posted on Facebook that several tailgate events would be held before kickoff to celebrate the new season.
ASU was also expected to debut its new scoreboard above the north end zone, which was part of the school’s overhaul of Sun Devil Stadium, along with a new statue of ASU legend Pat Tillman on the north side of the facility.
KTAR News’ Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.
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