Many avoid traffic nightmares
Arriving hours before the game pays off for fans from near and far.
By AMY HERDY
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 29, 2001
TAMPA -- After Saturday's Gasparilla traffic nightmare, Sunday's Super Bowl traffic appeared to be not much worse than a normal Bucs game. That means it's wasn't great, but it wasn't a horror show.
Besides, it was the Super Bowl, and even those stuck in traffic seemed willing to put up with just about anything if they had tickets in hand.
Locals and visitors alike appeared to heed officials' warnings to arrive at Super Bowl XXXV hours early to avoid gridlock headaches.
Other than the expected bumper-to-bumper traffic around Raymond James Stadium itself, most fans found it smooth going -- especially those who knew what they were doing.
"It was better than a Bucs game," said Tampa resident Sharon Castillo, who arrived at the stadium with a friend about 1 p.m. She avoided the interstate, Castillo said, and drove right in to Al Lopez Park, where she parked for $10 and walked a few minutes to arrive at the game.
"I thought the line was longer at the liquor store," she said.
Other fans agreed.
"We came yesterday and scouted it out," said Baltimore resident Charles Edelin, who drove to the game from Treasure Island and arrived about 2 p.m.
"So we parked at the Wal-Mart on Dale Mabry. It only took us about 20 minutes to walk," Edelin said. "We knew darn well once we got close to here it would be a free-for-all."
Those who left later and took the interstate had the most problems.
"Getting from the airport to here was tough," said Baltimore resident Anne Freedman, who flew in shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday with her family. They then rented a car, Freedman said, and fought traffic to arrive at the game about 3:40 p.m.
"From the airport to the stadium took us about an hour and a half," she said of what should have been a 10-minute drive. "But it's our first Super Bowl, so I guess it's worth it."
Among the loudest traffic complainers were members of the news media, who have the ability to spread those complaints far and wide.
A shuttle for reporters from the Tampa Convention Center to the stadium took so long some riders got out many blocks away to walk.
As far as officials were concerned, months of planning paid off.
"It went better than expected," said Tampa police Maj. K.C. Newcomb, who reported no major glitches.
Today's Super Bowl story lineup
- Rockin' Ravens
- MVP caps Lewis' strange journey
- 'We're the greatest of all-time'
- Q&A with Brian Billick
- Modell savors a Super year at last in a different city
- Ravens win doesn't improve Cleveland's mood
- I see your return, and raise you one
- Ravens defense stakes its claim
- Mizell: Trent in land of wonder
- Shelton: Baltimore's defense leaves a lasting impact
- Fry: QB Collins should shoulder the blame
- Ginn: CBS' new replay system a look into the future
- Zucco; For some, it's the party, not the game
- Deggans: Pregame coverage lacked local images
- Auman: Third quarter tests Internet's immediacy
- Trigaux: Ads, not football, supreme in Super Schmooze XXXV
- Giants grasp for answers
- Q&A with Jim Fassel
- Dungy a bit surprised by game's outcome
- Ravens rose on Giants' mistakes
Inside the game
- Super Bowl XXXV by the numbers
- Breathtaking returns: Starks, Dixon, Lewis
- Sehorn coverage error leads to touchdown
- Look familiar? Defense gets ball, offense runs
- First quarter: Play by play
- First quarter: Best & worst
- Penalty negates a big play for the Giants
- Second quarter: Best & worst
- Second quarter: Play by play
- Third quarter: Play by play
- Third quarter: Best & worst
- Best 36 seconds in Super Bowl history
- Fourth quarter: Play by play
- Fourth Quarter: Key Play
- Fourth quarter: Best & worst
- Big game and week before it seen as win for bay area
- What they're saying: Stupidity rules the roads
Beyond the sidelines
- Four bars' patrons quaff winnings of Bud Bowl
- Big crowds, big spenders
- Altruism? That's the (free) ticket
- Many avoid traffic nightmares
- Tickets stolen? Too bad
- Unusual musical pairings bring fire to day's festivities
- Area dancers show pregame joy, nerves
- Corporate America buys star execs ultimate party
- Some just don't care about the big game
- On Super Bowl Sunday, the party's anywhere
- Celebrity watch
- Brought to you by ...