Construction limits game day parking

By Student Writer Trevor Sherrill

As students prepare to attend the first traditional home game of the season Sept. 23, the UNA athletic department works to ensure the construction of Florence Middle School does not affect fans during game day at Braly Stadium

Matthew Daniels, manager of athletics operations and facilities, said officials over traffic and police will adjust traffic to compensate for the construction.

“Traffic will be affected from the standpoint that there are certain roads near the stadium that will be closed or one way only,” Daniels said. “That is to streamline the traffic working in conjunction with UNA police and Florence police.”

Overall, students should not have a problem with parking or transportation.

“They have got their space in the Spirit Quad, there is a good bit of parking, (and) we are running shuttle buses from campus,” Daniels said.

Freshman Christina Hoffmann said she works the ticket booth on game days. 

“I had to park a quarter mile away and walk to the top of the hill for my job,” Hoffmann said. “There is very limited parking even hours before the game.”

If students do not want to worry about parking, they can find shuttle buses at the UNA parking deck, the fountain and Appleby dorms. They can shuttle, and it will bring them straight to the stadium. It will take students back to the same spots after the game.

One of the main spaces officials provide for students is the baseball field on the south side of the stadium. This area is where the university will house the Spirit Quad and where the bulk of tailgating will be.

The Spirit Quad moved to the former Florence High School baseball field during fall 2015. It was originally at the top of the hill in front of Coffee Gymnasium. This is where the construction is taking place. 

Pride of Dixie Marching Band freshman Mary Derrough said construction is a hassle on game day. 

“It makes parking so difficult for practice, games and getting to the field,” she said. 

Daniels said the athletic department is doing all it can to make game day as easy as possible.

 “It is what it is, and our students did a great job last year,” Daniels said. “They come out to our games, they are loud and proud, and thatís what we need to get again this year.”

Daniels said there was not a big change in attendance during the fall 2016 season because of construction. The attendance fluctuated from game to game.

He said he is thankful for student support for game day attendance. 

“Our student athletes love to look up in the stands and see their fellow students,” Daniels said. “It means the world to our student athletes, and we just need their support to go on and win a fifth conference championship in a row.”