NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A training session in April was the first sign for many fans that there might be challenges.
"There was some flooding today, we didn't get to park where we were supposed to, and it's a bit of a walk," said fan David Smith on April 12.
Geodis Park sits in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood and is still surrounded by construction. The area is largely residential, but the Fairgrounds Nashville has always hosted large events.
The Flea Market brings tens of thousands of people to the area. However people coming and going are spread out over an entire weekend.
For a scheduled event with 30,000 fans, the team and local officials tell NewsChannel 5 they expect growing pains for the first several matches. And they plan to tweak the traffic and parking plan as needed.
Getting to the area, you can take:
- I-65 to the Wedgewood Ave exit
- 8th Avenue/Franklin Pike
- Or Nolensville Pike/4th Ave, accessible from I-440 or I-40 (the downtown loop). Your best route will depend on where you park or if you ride share.
Metro Police will staff 48 extra officers for the first match Sunday, helping at 11 different posts to change lights and direct traffic. Some officers will actively patrol the surrounding neighborhood.
To avoid the parking headache, the police and the team are urging people to ride share. The drop-off zone is on Craighead St., south of the stadium.
Officers say ride share drivers should enter from Nolensville Pike before the game. And enter from I-65 or 8th Ave after the game. That will allow them to make traffic one-way on Craighead St., though officers can switch the flow direction as needed.
If you drive, please carpool. And get there early. There are around 5,000 pre-sold spots on-site for a 30,000-seat stadium.
"Don’t expect to come alone in your car and pull up next to the stadium 15 minutes before the game kicks off, because that just won't happen," said Council Member Colby Sledge, who represents the area.
Single-game parking passes are available leading up to match days through Nashville SC. If you manage to snag a pass, the lots on-site are divided into zones to help with traffic.
Lots 1,2,5,6,7 and 8 are in the east zone (depicted in orange), and drivers should approach from the 4th Avenue/Nolensville Pike side, east of the stadium.
Lots 3,4,5,9,10, and 11 are in the west zone (depicted in red), and those drivers should approach from I-65 or 8th Avenue, west of the stadium.
Off-site parking is near Fort Negley, at Chestnut St and Fort Negley Blvd. Those lots open four hours before kickoff and will be first come, first serve. A $10 cash-only shuttle will drive you the 1.5 miles to the stadium.
Nissan Stadium will allow fans to park in lots R, T and N for $10 cash. A free shuttle will transport fans to Geodis Park. Get your passes ahead of time here.
Grayline will also offer a shuttle service, picking up from East Nashville, Germantown, Downtown, 12 South, Melrose and the Gulch for $20. Pre-book your seat on their website.
Other ways to get there
If you live nearby, consider walking or biking. You might move faster than some of the folks in their cars.
Riding a Wego Public Transit bus is another option. While the Thompson Wedgewood 77 bus does stop near the stadium, it's a limited service route and not idea for match days. But the Nolensville Pike 52 route can get you to Geodis Park from WeGo Central downtown, with stops along Rosa Parks Blvd, Korean Veterans Blvd and 2nd Ave along the way.
From the south, it can pick you up from as far away as Old Hickory Blvd, with multiple stops on Harding Pl and along Nolensville Pike. This may be a better option on weekdays, when buses come far more often.
WeGo staff say there's no current plan to add frequency on match days, but NewsChannel 5 will let you know if that changes.
"It does speak to 'do I need additional frequency on routes like this,' especially as we tell people 'hey this could be your best way to go' we gotta back that up and make sure that it's available," Council Member Sledge said.
The free WeGo QuickTicket appwill let you load money and scan your phone to board Metro buses.
Biggest takeaway - plan ahead. Police are staffing posts starting at 10:30 am for the 3 pm kickoff. Music starts at noon to encourage you to arrive early to get your barrings.
And remember, Wedgewood-Houston is a residential neighborhood. Metro police will enforce ticketing and towing for anyone parked blocking driveways or on private property.