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Residents bring up concerns about parking, increased traffic around new CSU football stadium

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- There is still about 18 months before Colorado State plays its first game at its new football stadium, but as excitement grows, so does concern about things such as parking and traffic.

The $220 million stadium is under construction and is set to open for the 2017 season.

It will seat 41,000 fans, which is 10,000 more than the current Hughes Stadium, which is off campus and west of Fort Collins. The new stadium will be located in the middle of CSU’s campus.  Some fans are not convinced the space can handle it.

“We were not supporters of the new stadium,” CSU supporter Edward Beers said. "I mean, we liked Hughes. That was a good setting. It was a nice place to go. So we’ve had some skepticism with the whole idea of the new stadium.”

Beers and a few dozen of his neighbors came out Wednesday night to a community meeting hosted by CSU regarding the logistics of game days at the new stadium. Several raised concerns over parking, traffic and the number of people who will be attending games.

CSU has devised a game day plan that it says will allow fans to attend games without worrying about finding parking or getting to the campus. The plan will create 8,500 parking spots on campus in existing lots.

Season ticket holders will be given assigned lots based on their donation amounts. Bigger donations will allow season ticket holders into lots closer to the stadium. Students with parking permits will be required to move their vehicles to further lots on Friday nights before game days.

Several people expressed concern at the meeting about people who drive to the game and choose to park in off-campus neighborhoods and walk. The university’s plan did not address such issues but says it will consider off-campus parking issues moving forward.

“We’ve seen the impact of a lot of these things in the past and it takes a lot of effort by the city to make sure, I mean we’ve had people run through our yard, so we have that concern,” Beers said.

Traffic will be funneled around the stadium with Shields Street expected to see the greatest increase in traffic volume. City planners say on game days there will be 20 percent more traffic on Shields than during evening rush hour.

“The devil is in the details and this is where these forums are helpful. I think that forward planning is important,” CSU campus planner Fred Haberecht said.

CSU and Fort Collins are using the public’s feedback to fine-tune their game day plan. There will be another community meeting on May 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Drake Centre (802 W. Drake Road).

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