CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — With thousands more fans expected than usual for an Illini Football game, there are new precautions you’ll see.
Joseph McCullough, UIPD’s assistant police chief, is in charge of football security and said they’ll start preparing the night before. Then, they start monitoring and directing traffic and parking areas eight hours before kickoff.
He said because of this weekend’s large crowds, they’ll staff intersections they haven’t in the past, stretching from Lincoln and University Avenue to Windsor Road, and down to Curtis Road.
“We encourage patrons to take some of the shuttles MTD runs because then they can be able to avoid some of the traffic headaches after the game and get back to their car that may be out of the normal flow of traffic,” McCullough said.
He added that they’ll make staffing adjustments before and after the game based on where the problems arise. McCullough also wanted to remind fans to be patient while driving, parking and waiting in line at the game.
“Arrive early. Have a place picked out ahead of time where you’re going to park,” he said. “It’s going to be very difficult to find game day parking around the stadium at the last minute, most of that is reserved. But have a plan of where to park and just know to arrive earlier than normal.”
He said multiple police and fire agencies from across the state help with patrolling on game days, some including Champaign Police, Urbana Police, Mahomet Police, Rantoul Police, Parkland Police, Illinois State Police, and UIS Police.
Don’t forget you’ll also go through bag checks at each portal entrance of the stadium, and Memorial Stadium has a clear bag policy. For more details about what you can and can not bring inside, visit the Illinois Athletics website.