Belton, Texas – How do you provide parking for 5,000 of your closest friends? That is the question the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor has tackled this fall as the date has approached for the inaugural game at Crusader Stadium. The campus landscape has undergone radical changes in the last two years, with a stadium and student union built on areas previously devoted to parking and with many new parking areas added around the campus perimeter. Campus administrators have devoted serious time and thought to mapping out traffic patterns and designating parking areas so Crusader fans will find parking and entering the stadium an easy experience on game day.
Since parking for the general public will be quite limited next to the stadium, a complimentary shuttle system will be used to transport fans to and from parking areas at the edges of the campus. Fans are encouraged to park at in the large parking lots at the SportsPlex (just off the Loop 121 entrance on Crusader Way) and near the academic buildings near the front entrance of the campus (between Pearl Street and College Street). At five minute intervals, shuttle buses will pick up fans at designated stops next to those lots and will drop them at the main gate of the stadium. The shuttles will continue running throughout the evening to give fans rides back to their cars at whatever time they choose to leave.
To prevent congestion in front of the stadium on University Drive, the UMHB Department of Public Safety will convert University Drive into a one-way street between 9th Avenue and Mabee Drive, prior to game time. Access to that road will be limited to fans with reserved parking passes, visitors with handicapped parking hangtags, and drivers who need to drop off guests with limited mobility at the curb near the stadium entrance. Those visitors will be encouraged to come toward the stadium on 9thAvenue, turn right on University Drive and then drive on to Crusader Way to find parking in the new lots along the north side of the campus or in the remote parking areas at the Sportsplex or near the Main Street entrance. The clockwise traffic flow will allow the shuttles and individual vehicles to pause curbside to deliver fans to the stadium gate without creating jams on the two-lane street.
Though kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., plan to be in the stadium by 5:30 for the pregame celebration of the stadium’s opening. The university will be recognizing the family of Elizabeth and Drayton McLane, Jr., for their support of the stadium project, and a symbolic ribbon-cutting will be held to mark the opening of Crusader Stadium. An exciting new video will be broadcast on the scoreboard screen to bring fans to their feet for the Crusader football team’s entrance onto the field, and Belton native (and UMHB grad) Jared Johnson will sing the National Anthem as more than 100 students unfurl a giant flag at the center of the field.
General Admission tickets can be purchased at the ticket office inside the lobby of the Maybor Arena. For more information call (254) 295-4455.