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Slow drive: Cardinals’ Monday Night Football matchup to wreak havoc on rush hour

Arizona Cardinals fans Richard Rader, left , and son Richard III pose for a photo in front of University of Phoenix Stadium before an NFL preseason football game between the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

PHOENIX — Drivers in the metro Phoenix area could be in for a long afternoon commute as the Arizona Cardinals will play in the Monday Night Football game.

While the team readies for the New York Jets, the Arizona Department of Transportation is warning drivers to prepare for heavy traffic. It said those who will drive near University of Phoenix Stadium near the Loop 101 and Bethany Home Road in the West Valley will experience particularly heavy traffic.

In a press release, ADOT said commuters should consider either heading home early or waiting to leave until a little later to avoid the bulk of rush hour and game traffic. It also said those who use either Interstate 10 or the Loop 101 to get home should allow for extra travel time.

ADOT suggested fans hoping to make the 5:30 p.m. kickoff should take the Loop 101 if possible instead of I-10.

Or, as John Drum with the Cardinals suggested, get to the stadium early and enjoy the afternoon.

He said fans can head to the Flight Deck, a large party area complete with two big-screen TVs. It opens at 2:30 p.m.

“The Flight Deck’s a great area where we’ve got different locations and different things for people to do,” he said. “We do have a live band that is set up out there. There’s food and beverage options — we bring in a lot of food trucks from around the Valley.”

When it comes to the game itself, Ron Wolfley from Dough & Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM said the Cardinals have a chance to redeem themselves on national television after a rough start to the season.

“We can sit here and we can point fingers all day long, but they have the opportunity of getting back to 3-3 by beating the 1-4 New York Jets,” he said.

Editor’s note: Monday’s game will be shown on ESPN and can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

KTAR’s Jim Cross and Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

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