COLORADO SPRINGS — The home opener for Switchbacks soccer is also the first official public event at the new Weidner Field in downtown Colorado Springs. It happens Friday, May 21st. Tickets are nearly sold out for the match.
Thousands will crowd the stadium. They need to find parking first. "We have double the amount of parking that we need," said Switchbacks President Nick Ragain. Only, the parking is not at the stadium. It was not built with parking outside its gates.
Stadium designers, parking consultants, and parking managers for the City of Colorado Springs all collaborated on parking options. "We've come up with a diversified parking model which has people parking in various locations throughout the city," said Colorado Springs Parking Enterprise Director, Scott Lee.
Studies showed many parking options within minutes of the stadium underutilized during the typical hours of events at the stadium. Street metered parking, some pay surface parking lots, as well as city and county parking garages now have added purpose for Weidner Field events.
"Utilize what we currently have rather than just building event structure parking for just say the stadium," said Lee.
Parking is not on-site, but it is closer than some parking lots at large stadiums with on-site parking. "The average walk is about seven minutes and certainly you can get closer parking than that," said Ragain. Planners say there is also a benefit when events end and thousands all leave at once.
"So, there's not an overloaded intersection generally surrounding the stadium," said Lee. The diversified parking spreads drivers out over many different roads and exit routes.
Fans heading to the field for the first time may want to figure out a parking plan in advance. There is a map on the Switchbacks website showing the best options.
Due to COVID-19, the stadium will be at 70% capacity, but that could change prior to kickoff.
Kickoff at Weidner Field is set for 7 p.m.