Update: Busy Night Downtown

By: Jodi Baker Email
By: Jodi Baker Email

The Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority is expecting upwards of 20,000 fans at TD Ameritrade Park. Creighton takes on Nebraska in their second game at the stadium, beginning at 7 p.m.

Then, at 7:30 p.m., the Bob Seger concert kicks off at the Qwest Center just across the street. More than 12,000 people are expected at that event.

The lots at both facilities have just 5,000 parking spaces, but 4,000 more, operated by the city, are within a 12-minute walk. There are a number of private, paid lots as well. Still, trying to move the cars through the downtown streets surrounding the facilities, could prove to be a challenge.

Rebecca Kleeman, spokeswoman for the Qwest Center, said an even larger crowd of nearly 40,000, attended the recent Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders meeting. For that event, she said, "We didn't get a single complaint."

However, she added, "We’ve had some very small events here before with crowds that are not used to coming down and visiting our facility. And we’ve had some parking challenges just because people don’t quite realize where they need to go and what they need to do. So, we’ve found out it’s more than numbers, it’s a matter of getting the word out in advance."

Buying a ticket for the CU-NU game, Craig Strong of Omaha was unaware that a concert would be happening just across the street. "I guess I better get here early and find a spot. I didn't know that. That should be interesting," he said.

Jackie Lane of Council Bluffs had a much stronger reaction, in regards to the traffic situation. "It's gonna suck!"

She added, "It’s just not going to be very accommodating. It’s going to be jam-packed I think. "

She's grateful she works downtown. "Luckily, I do have a parking spot over, two blocks over, so I'm staying straight from work, going straight downtown some where, and gonna come down and have a good time at the concert."

Downtown restaurants and bars, as well as those at Midtown Crossing, which is offering free shuttle service, are expecting big benefits from the crowds.

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