Officials warn of gameday parking problems

As the Cougar football team prepares to face Alabama-Birmingham tonight at Robertson Stadium, UH officials have asked students and fans to arrive promptly to avoid traffic congestion.

In coordination with the Athletics Department, UH Police Lt. Bret Collier devised a parking plan to help Cougar fans, faculty, staff and students dodge traffic on game day.

"It’s gonna be business as usual until 3 p.m. After 3 p.m., we recommend, if they can, (to) find alternate parking," Collier said.

Collier said lots 15D, 12B, 9C, 16B and 16D are closest to the stadium and will fill up quickly. Cash parking will not be available in the Yellow Lot surrounding the stadium, but fans can park in outlying lots for $5.

Additional parking is available at the satellite parking lot located at the corner of Scott and Rosewood streets. Satellite parking is free and shuttle services are available until 6 p.m.

"We want fans to know there will be parking available, as long as they park in the designated areas," UH Athletics Director Dave Maggard said.

Although the lots are not normally used for game day parking, Collier said security should not be a concern.

"The lot is pretty under-utilized, (so) we will be monitoring the lot for safety," Collier said.

Collier said 6 to 7 p.m. and 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. will be peak traffic times, and anyone not attending the game should try to avoid using lots and streets within close proximity to Robertson Stadium.

"I would recommend Spur 5, which is basically on the other side of the campus," Collier said.

The game against the UAB Blazers will be the Cougars’ first at home in 40 days, and head football coach Kevin Sumlin said the players are excited to hit the field for their second consecutive nationally-televised game.

"We want to encourage everyone to come Thursday," head coach Kevin Sumlin said. "We are excited about Thursday, first for playing at home and then playing in front of a national TV audience."

Sumlin said the weekday game was planned around the television schedule and that receiving TV coverage is important to creating national awareness of the football program and University.

"That is part of the landscape of college football. As programs get better, television starts to dictate game times and that’s just the way it is. Exposure, nationally, for recruiting is extremely important," he said.

Only fans, faculty and staff with valid UH parking passes will be allowed access into lots surrounding Robertson Stadium after 3 p.m. All others should arrive early, park in lots on the east side of campus and take shuttle buses to their designated areas.

Despite obstacles they may face, Sumlin is confident Cougar fans will show up in full force.

"What you want to do is develop fans that are miles away so they can see you," he said. "There are some plusses and minuses, but fans are going to come."

Additional reporting by Zaneta Loh

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