By: Kayla Bremer
Traffic and parking has always been a concern since plans for the Pinnacle Bank Arena began years ago.
Now with the first concert weeks away, officials are getting ready for thousands of people to flood the West Haymarket with much of it still under construction.
If you're heading down to the arena for any of the upcoming concerts, you may want to prepare for some traffic and look into your parking options.
Michael Buble is the first big concert set for September 13th and officials say it's a good idea to buy your parking space now for that show and any others.
"First of all, it secures a stall for you but also it helps on traffic congestion," Project Manager Dan Marvin said. "You don't have to drive around, you know exactly where you're going to go."
For now, you can only reserve a spot in the garage next to the arena. It's easy and pretty cheap at a flat event rate of $5. The city website has a link to the events so all you do is find the one you want, reserve your spot and print the receipt to take with you on event day.
Nearly 3,000 new parking spots have been added to the West Haymarket so far to accommodate people coming for shows, dinner, shops or to the bars. Two more garages are set to open by this time next year.
"The surface lot to the north is 1,300 stalls, probably expand to another 700 stalls...we think there's a large capacity there and then the capacity that will be coming on south of the arena, we think we'll be able to handle just about any kind of event that comes this way."
That surface lot, just to the northwest, is supposed to be connected to the arena by a pedestrian bridge but structural problems early on delayed the completion date. Officials say it's temporary, but they have plans to shuttle people back and forth until the bridge is finished.
Another thing to keep in mind is street closures before and after events. Some will be shut down to keep traffic from flowing into the busy Haymarket or downtown.
"We will route parking garages so that when you leave a parking garage, you will be routed a particular direction so that we move people quickly."
If you live north and west of the arena, officials say you should take West O St. or Cornhusker to Sun Valley Boulevard to the surface lot near Haymarket Park.
If you live northeast, they say Salt Creek Roadway will be your quickest route. You can enter the arena parking garages from the north.
If your south or east of the venue, take 10th St. to N and come in from the south. Or to park in the surface lot, take West O out to Sun Valley Boulevard.
As of Tuesday, August 20th, just over 300 parking spots were left in the parking garage on R Street across from the arena for the Michael Buble concert.
Again, event parking near the arena will be $5. Any other city parking garages downtown will be $1 per hour.
To reserve your parking spot ahead of time, visit this website below: