• Know where you’ll park before heading to McLane Stadium

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    If there’s one message to be conveyed ahead of time to fans attending next week’s McLane Stadium opener, it’s this: Know where you’re going to park (and how you’ll get there) before you leave your house.

    Like most major college football stadiums, McLane Stadium is not surrounded by acres and acres of parking. Fans will need to either catch a shuttle or enjoy a walk from most locations; here are the primary options:

    * Pre-paid, on-campus spots. Many season ticket holders opted to purchase season-long parking passes for spots adjacent to the stadium and at other on-campus locations (Robinson Tower, Baylor Law School, Ferrell Center, Dutton Avenue and Speight Plaza Parking Garages). All such lots are now sold out.

    * Other on-campus spots. Fans who arrive more than four hours before gametime may be able to find free parking on campus. With the exception of the locations listed above and the East Campus Parking Facility (which is reserved for students with on-campus parking permits), all other parking on the Baylor campus will be free and open to visitor traffic and parking — first come, first served — until four hours before kickoff, when most roads into campus will be closed.

    * Downtown Waco. Between 2,000 and 2,500 free, off-street parking spots will be available in lots downtown. Shuttles will run every five minutes from the intersection of 5th Street and Austin Avenue to a spot near the stadium. Several blocks of Austin Avenue will be closed to traffic to create a unique gameday atmosphere downtown, complete with food and entertainment.

    * East Waco. Residents of the Olive Heights neighborhood near the stadium will offer a variety of parking options within walking distance of the game. If you go this route, please be a good neighbor and park only where permitted.

    [IMPORTANT LINKS: Parking details at BaylorBears.com || Map of downtown parking lots || Student parking guidelines]

    Fans should also be aware that, in addition to many campus-area streets, two exits off I-35 will be closed on gamedays: the northbound exit for 4th/5th Street, and the southbound exit for Martin Luther King Boulevard.

    I can’t stress this enough: Consult the maps and information above, plan ahead, arrive early, and be patient as we all adjust to everything that’s new and different about the new home on the Brazos with which we’ve been blessed.

    Sic ’em, Bears!

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