LSU urges planning, patience when parking on gameday

Baton Rouge newcomers planning to head to Tiger Stadium an hour before Saturday’s 6 p.m. kickoff for the game with Kent State University should switch to Plan B, LSU officials say. That’s because 2,700 free parking spots have been lost to construction projects.

“Arrival at the 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. range is recommended,” said Michael Bonnette, LSU’s sports information director. “We’ve lost 2,000 free spots because of the new recreation fields off of Gourrier Avenue and River Road. We lost another 700 spots by Kirby Smith (Hall), where they’re building residential units.”

For last week’s game with University of Alabama Birmingham, Bonnette noted, “The free lots were filled by 3 p.m. Probably, we’ll have the same results this Saturday.”

The number of paid parking spots has grown, though.

“We did gain 500 spots in the new campus parking lot adjacent to Barnes & Noble,” Bonnette explained. Barnes & Noble fronts the east side of Highland Road, and the parking lot is near the back of the bookstore. Game-day parking is $40.

“We had many vacancies at that lot last week,” Bonnette noted.

Passes for that lot can be purchased in advance at or at the lot’s entrance on Saturday. Passes also can be purchased for Lot 409 at Alex Box Stadium at prices that range from $40 to $80 per game.

To maximize the free space at the Levee and Hayfield parking lots, Bonnette said, attendants will direct fans to available spots.

A news release issued by Bonnette’s office noted: “Fans will not be able to choose their specific space when parking in either of these free lots.”

The LSU campus has game day signage that is gold and directs people to parking lots and other locations.

Each parking lot has been renamed from the alphabetical system to a numerical system based on dividing the campus into quadrants in relation to Tiger Stadium.

Bonnette’s written release says: “We ask fans to ‘Follow the Gold’ this season to find their parking lot.”

For suggested access routes to those lots, Tiger fans also can visit Simply select the parking lot and then enter your inbound direction on Interstate 10. A suggested access route will be given based on pregame traffic restrictions.

Or, LSU fans can forget traffic hassles and grab roundtrip rides for $10 on Capital Area Transit System Touchdown Express Shuttle. That shuttle has six pickup locations throughout downtown and provides continuous service from three hours before kickoff until one hour after the game. For more shuttle information, call (225) 389-8923.

For more information on a similar shuttle, the $12 Pastime Gameday Shuttle, call (225) 343-5490 or (225) 344-6676.

Capt. Cory Lalonde of the LSU Police Department said there are several things football followers can do to save themselves time and aggravation.

“If you don’t need it, don’t bring it,” Lalonde said, explaining that all bags will be searched and that none of those bags can be larger than 8.5 inches by 11 inches. “The more bags, the slower it’s going to be for everybody to get in the stadium.”

Firearms and knives are not allowed into the stadium, Lalonde added. So, don’t bring any weapons.

“The campus is a firearm-free zone,” Lalonde said.

“When you’re driving to the campus, allow yourself some extra time,” the captain urged. “Be patient. Expect delays.”

To reduce traffic, “carpool to campus,” Lalonde suggested. To eliminate lots of stress, he said, take the game day shuttles.

This story was updated Sept. 14, 2013, to correct LSU’s opponent from Sept. 7. LSU played UAB in Baton Rouge on Sept. 7.