It’s not often when the biggest story after a sporting event is what a mess the traffic and parking situation was, but that’s the situation many fans hoping to watch Saturday’s NHL Stadium Series clash between the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche found themselves in this weekend.
ESPN reports that many fans missed large portions of the game, either by arriving late or leaving early. The traffic situation was so bad that drives that typically take 45-minutes turned into four-hour nightmares.
“They need to refund all the tickets,” Avalanche fan Jeff Carter told ESPN. Carter strode into the stadium during the game’s second intermission after reportedly parking at a Starbucks lot an hour’s walk away.
The Air Force Academy was responsible for routing traffic and managing parking lots. Both the NHL and Air Force sent out traffic advisories ahead of time due to the anticipated number of cars and some construction-related delays.
None of that was enough for irate fans.
“The outdoor game is an amazing concept,” said Lisa Kruse, who despite living just a 40 minute drive away arrived at the stadium midway through the third period. “They need someone in charge that knows about parking and logistics. I’ve been to concerts at the Air Force Academy and never had any issue. I love the Avalanche. I bought this ticket to see [country singer and intermission performer] Sam Hunt, and I missed the concert. I will look for a refund. This was ridiculous.”
The Air Force Academy said that accidents added to the traffic trouble, including a fatal accident.
“In the hours leading up to the game, there were numerous road condition changes and unforeseen events including multiple lane closures in both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-25, emergency pothole repairs that forced further lane closures, and multiple vehicle accidents between Castle Rock and Monument,” the academy said in a statement. “Despite our best efforts, all of these added to the already challenging traffic conditions along the I-25 corridor, combined and unfortunately impacted some fans travelling to the game.”