Major events impact downtown Jacksonville traffic

Jaguars, Sharks, Suns were all in action Saturday night

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tens of thousands of sports fans were heading out of downtown Jacksonville after three major events, all around the same time.

The Jaguars, Sharks and Suns were all in action Saturday night starting around 7 p.m., but with the festivities, comes the extra traffic.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office wanted fans to be prepared for what could be a long ride home. They opened the Mathews bridge until 11 p.m. to help funnel the extra traffic out of downtown.

With the Jaguars hitting the field, the Suns taking on the Tennessee Smokies and the Sharks Divisional Playoff game, downtown Jacksonville was buzzing with an action-packed night.

"It's kind of fun to see the Sharks people tailgating, Jags people tailgating and I'm seeing a few Suns shirts," said Brian Imhulse. "Everybody's out in full force so there's a little bit of traffic coming in, but it's fun to see everybody."

"The kids always like to see the team and get their autographs and so, we always have lots of fun," said Brian Knight.

But with the festivities came the extra traffic. As always, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office wants fans to be prepared and they want everyone to have a game plan.

"If you're going to the Sharks game, which is the westside of the sports complex, then come in off Union Street or the Main Street bridge if you can," said Leonard Propper. "If you're going to the scrimmage, the Mathews and the Hart is the way you want to go."

Police said it's all about keeping traffic running smoothly and open. They also tell told Channel 4 parking was limited Saturday night and wanted drivers to have a plan.

"It would be easier if you use the parking that's available on the westside for baseball and the Sharks, and use the parking lot on the eastside, closer to the river for the scrimmage," said Propper.

Police said each event Saturday night was well-staffed and when the night ends, they ask everyone to be careful.

"We'll probably just hang out for a bit and wait until the traffic let's up a little bit, which is fine," said Propper.

Click here to check the latest traffic conditions.

About the Author: