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UK Braces For Game Day At Renovated Commonwealth Stadium

Josh James
Panorama of new Commonwealth Stadium

While University of Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops squares away strategy for Saturday's inaugural game in the new Commonwealth Stadium, UK police and officials are crafting plans of their own to deal with the massive crowd expected this weekend.

Credit Josh James / WUKY
Commonwealth Stadium ahead of Saturday's unveiling

With just three days left until the Cats take on Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns, Commonwealth Stadium remains a work in progress.

Although the vast majority of fans will experience, in UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart's words, a "finished stadium" complete with a new facade, wider concourses, and expanded concessions this Saturday, he acknowledges some elements like new signage and some chair-back seats haven't been fully installed.

"I think that's still a moving target," he says. "The goals were clearly to get our team areas prepared... really important. We wanted to make sure that fan pieces, in terms of the seating bowls, were ready to go."

Meanwhile, more than a hundred police officers will be on the stadium grounds helping drivers navigate two newly-installed roundabouts along Alumni Drive, a tangle of nearby construction, and redrawn parking areas.

"Our suggestion is be early, plan to be in traffic, be patient, and help everyone out," Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard urges.

Officials encourage fans to display their parking permits prominently before leaving the house, so officers can more easily sort incoming traffic. Non-permit parking will be available on a first come, first serve basis starting at noon on game day.

Work will continue on the stadium up to Saturday - at which point officials plan to hit "reset" and reassess where the project stands. In all, the renovation represents a $120 million dollar investment in the UK football program.

For updated info on game day visit UK'sofficial game day site.

Get the latest updates on construction and see before and after photos here.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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