Blue Bombers unveil stadium traffic, parking improvements
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have unveiled improvements to traffic, transit and parking at Investors Group field in time for the CFL team's first regular-season game next week.
Bombers brass and city officials responded on Friday to complaints from fans who had to endure traffic gridlock and transit delays before and after the team's pre-season game — the first to be played at the new stadium — on June 12.
Many fans reported missing part of the game because of the traffic and transit issues, arriving at the stadium up to one hour after kickoff.
About 60 per cent more people took transit to Wednesday's game than what officials had expected, resulting in long lines at Park and Ride lots and frustrated passengers walking part of the way to the stadium because of traffic jams along Pembina Highway.
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Team brass announced Friday that for the Bombers' June 27 regular-season opener against the Montreal Alouettes, they will add "significantly more buses" at the Park and Ride lots, dedicate bus-only lanes for special events, and have police officers directing traffic at key intersections.
As for parking, the stadium will be open for fans to park three hours before kickoff on June 27, which is much longer than the 90-minute window at the June 12 game.
As well, the number of parking attendants will be doubled, there will be more signs and other improvements to the parking lot, and more "booster" lots will be added along Pembina Highway.
Even the bicycle valet section, where cyclists can securely store their bikes during the game, will be expanded from 400 spots to about 650.
The club will get to adjust its plan following another upcoming major event at Investors Group Field — the Taylor Swift concert on Saturday evening.
Winnipeg Transit says 150 extra buses will travel to and from Investors Group Field for the concert.