Brace yourself. Getting to an Indiana home football game this year will not be fun. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s the price of transportation progress, or, in this case, the price of turning the two-lane bypass around IU and Memorial Stadium into a four-lane asset.
When it’s done, it will be a good thing.
When it’s done.
For now, it’s a mess that will only get worse during home football game days. The first one is this Saturday, when the determined-to-redeem-themselves Hoosiers (0-1) host Virginia (1-0).
Still, IU officials need fans to come, for a variety of obvious reasons. They can't do anything about the construction, but they are trying to improve the travel experience. They are suggesting you come early. There will be entertainment and the chance to win cool stuff. And, the hope is, a chance to watch the REAL Indiana Hoosiers kick some rump. Those pretenders who submitted against Ball State were not indicative of the program coach Kevin Wilson is building.
At least, that is the hope.
In the meantime, Indiana athletic director Fred Glass is pushing the message that going to home football games will be worth your time. He’s written a letter to the public addressing the traffic construction issues. Here it is:
Dear Hoosier Football Fan,
We are very excited to open the Kevin Wilson Era in Bloomington with our first home football game of the 2011 season against the University of Virginia on September 10th. The team has been working hard, we’ve been sprucing up Memorial Stadium, the game day atmosphere will be better than ever, and we greatly look forward to seeing you in the stands.
Road construction to and in Bloomington is making traffic a mess. It will be worse on football game days. The Bloomington 45/46 Bypass is under construction. Understanding that the Bypass is an essential traffic artery on game days, IU Athletics has been working closely for months with the Indiana Department of Transportation, local law enforcement, and the construction firm overseeing the project to address the game day traffic challenges. All of these partners have worked hard to identify creative alternative routes and traffic patterns to make the absolute best of a very challenging situation. The pregame and postgame traffic patterns have been modified this season to support seven alternative routes to and from Memorial Stadium. We strongly encourage Hoosier fans to review the alternative route map at http://iuhoosiers.cstv.com/facilities/ind-facilities-memorial-traffic.html and plan their routes carefully.
Those making their way from Indianapolis and the northern part of the state may be aware of the construction taking place at the S.R. 37 exit off of I-465. While INDOT has worked with us to try to minimize these delays, delays at this interchange are likely. We encourage fans to consider taking S.R. 67 or I-65 and S.R. 46 as alternative routes to Bloomington.
THE ONLY REAL WAY TO AVOID PROLONGED TRAFFIC DELAYS IS ARRIVE EARLY. We encourage fans to tailgate early at Memorial Stadium and experience beautiful autumn Saturdays in Bloomington. To accommodate early arrivers, parking lots will be opened five hours prior to kickoff Hoosier Village will be open three hours before kickoff. We’ve added 50 port-o-lets for a total of 140. Come to “The Walk” two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff, and children will get an opportunity to enjoy the Kid Zone and Knothole Park 90 minutes before the start of the game. Unfortunately, due to the construction there will be waiting involved going to IU football games this year. We encourage you to do that tailgating in and around the stadium or enjoying your favorite Bloomington restaurant or tavern rather than waiting in traffic.
To try to make your game day experience as enjoyable as possible, IU Athletics will email you weekly updates on construction progress, alternative routes, and potential delays. You can also find information on game day traffic by following @IUTraffic on Twitter or by visiting our website IUHoosiers.com. Again, we encourage fans to arrive as early as possible to enjoy the fabulous game day atmosphere in Bloomington.
We are excited about this football team. It will be worth it to ARRIVE EARLY to see the Hoosiers play. We appreciate your continued support of Indiana Athletics, and GO HOOSIERS!
G. Frederick Glass, BA’81, JD’84
Vice President & Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
You might wonder why Wilson gambled on fourth-and-three inside the Ball State 10-yard line, passing on a sure field goal. The bottom-line reason is mindset. Here is a look at Wilson's mindset.
"We need to be aggressive," he said. "We can't go out and play afraid. We can't play scared. We can't worry about worst-case scenario. We have to be aggressive. We have to be smart.