Heavy traffic expected for tournaments at Rupp Arena

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Updated: 3/18/2013 2:10 pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. -Motorists can expect heavy traffic in the downtown Lexington area on Wednesday through Saturday, March 20-23, for the second and third rounds of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. 

Traffic is also expected to be heavy on Sunday, March 24, if the University of Kentucky hosts an NIT Tournament game at Rupp Arena.

Lexington Police Commander Thomas Curtsinger said motorists will probably encounter the first delays on Wednesday, when there will be open practices at Rupp Arena.  Police are expecting a crowd of 4.000 to 5,000 for each practice, with up to 20,000 total spectators during the day.

Games on Thursday begin at 12:30 p.m. and the last game starts at 9:20 p.m.  Motorists can expect heavy traffic before and after the games, particularly for the University of Louisville game at 6:20 p.m.

Fans from Louisville are being asked to come into Lexington on the interstate, rather than on Versailles Road, where construction is underway.

On Friday, another NCAA practice day, practices are closed to the public, so traffic is expected to be lighter.

Times for Saturday’s games have not been determined and won’t be determined until late Thursday or early Friday, Curtsinger said.  On Saturday and other tournament days, Lexington police will use the standard game day traffic operation, with officers on every corner, helping motorists enter and exit parking lots.

On Sunday, UK is expected to host an NIT game at Rupp Arena if they win their first round in the NIT earlier in the week.  No time has been determined. 

Parking for all the games will be the same for the tournament games as it is for the UK home games at Rupp Arena, Curtsinger said.  Most fans will be directed to the Cox Street lot in back of Rupp Arena or to the large lot between East High Street and East Maxwell Street in front of Rupp Arena. 

“If we have the NIT Tournament game, attendance is expected to be big,” Curtsinger said. 

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