Traffic information: What you need to know before Jaguars’ preseason home opener

There are several ongoing projects around TIAA Bank Field

There are several ongoing projects and road improvements that are going to interfere with the pace of finding a parking spot for home games.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s game day Friday! The Jaguars are kicking off their preseason home opener Friday night with a matchup against the Cleveland Browns and there are a few things you should note before you head downtown.

Almost everywhere you look around the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, you’ll notice a sea of orange traffic cones signaling new construction. There are several ongoing projects and road improvements that are going to interfere with the pace of finding a parking spot for home games.

″I think it’s going to be hard,” said Jaguars fan Ira King. “You have to find a way around it — it’s not going to be easy because of all the construction.”

Related: Jags fans say Deshaun Watson controversy won’t overshadow hometown team

It is one of the reasons why King says she’ll continue taking a commuter bus from the downtown area to the stadium — which Jaguars officials say is a good option.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s Gameday Xpress bus runs between TIAA Bank Field and several JTA parking locations. For the Jaguars’ preseason home opener Friday against the Cleveland Browns, they will run from the lots listed below, with the service starting two hours before the game and stopping one hour after the game ends:

  • Southbank — Kings Avenue Parking Garage at 1201 Kings Avenue
  • Southside — J. Turner Butler Boulevard Park-n-Ride at 7000 Philips Highway
  • Northside — Armsdale Park-n-Ride at 3191 Armsdale Road

Perhaps the biggest change to the traffic flow surrounds the construction of what’s now being called Commodore Point Expressway, which flows east and west between the Hart Bridge to East Bay Street. There’s also construction of a westbound overpass to Adams Street and Duval Road. Plus, there’s the Jaguars’ Miller Electric Center practice field being built in the front of the stadium, as well as the Shipyards project.

Jaguars Chief Operating Officer Chad Johnson has some suggestions.

“The key right now, we really want to make sure people know how to arrive early, right? Don’t leave yourself time last minute trying to figure out how to navigate in,” Johnson said. “We open our gates three hours before the game in our South End Zone, where there’s so much to do for kids and families and entertainment. The regular gates open two hours before the game.”

Johnson says the construction has impacted parking in lots M and N but adds that fans were told about the upcoming changes. It’s also important to note that if you’re traveling westbound on Commodore Point Expressway past the stadium, if you don’t turn left at the traffic light, you’ll be forced to go over the Hart Bridge and double back.

Johnson reminds fans of NFL policies that will make the entry process easier for everyone.

“We still have the NFL Clear Bag Policy. All our tickets are mobile, so make sure you pull your tickets up in advance. Do not be stuck in line trying to figure out how to log in last minute. We are a cashless building. So make sure you bring your wallet. Your contactless payment, we can expedite service there,” Johnson said. “So a lot of those things that that are also safety are also great fan convenience amenities.”

It’s also notable that you can no longer park in the area formerly known as Metropolitan Park and that a parking area near the Shipyards project has also been eliminated.

The Jaguars have more information about what fans need to know before the game here.

About the Authors:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.

Joe covers education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.