City releases plan for traffic and parking at KFC Yum! Center


by Mike Colombo

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 15 at 7:19 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Get ready, the first real test of the parking situation around the new KFC Yum! Center is coming this weekend when the Eagles take the stage Saturday night, but that's not the only event complicating traffic that night. Thursday, city leaders released their plans for parking and traffic control.

The excitement and beauty of an event like Thunder Over Louisville also brings an unpleasant reminder of traffic associated with those fireworks. With tens of thousands of people expected to file into the KFC Yum! Center for various events, the city is standing by its plan to ensure safety and convenience to event goers.

"Be mindful, this is the first event. We will tweak it as we deem appropriate. I think we've done a lot of things with the plan to make sure that it is probably the best, safest, and quickest way to get in and out," said LMPD Chief Robert White.

Lt. Doug Sweeny, head of traffic control says the traffic plan is designed to get people to the interstates. There will be 75 officers just on traffic control and according to Lt. Sweeny another 25-30 mobile officers for rescue and patrol. In addition, on scene technology giving officers the ability to control traffic with handheld devices will be used on major streets like Jefferson, Maine, and First.

When it comes to parking once you get there, Mayor Abramson says spaces will be plentiful,

“We have 19,000 parking spaces within a five block radius of the arena. Many of those are in parking garages connected by Louie Link, the overhead walkway system, We also have about 2,200 free, on street parking spaces throughout the five block area," added Abramson.

The cost to park at garages and surface lots ranges from $5-10, but you can also buy a season pass for $230 which covers all home games and the red/white scrimmage.

TARC is also on board with a plan to avoid traffic while still offering services during big events. and if you're a U of L student, Humana, or Metro Government, you can ride to and from for free with your student or employee ID.

If the plan is for people to take it easy, those we spoke with said they'll do just that. “I actually ride the TARC Bus a lot. I'll actually park further and take TARC. I'm going to the My Morning Jacket concerty so I'm excited," said  Catherine Head, U of L Law Student.

"The first year I think they're going to change some plans and make some revisions, so that's my two cents," said resident Mark Meurer.

If one big event wasn't enough to create traffic concerns on Saturday night, there will be two different plays at the Actors Theatre right across the street from the Yum! Center and two different events at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, two blocks from the arena.

Click here for more information on traffic and parking.