Parking on the Avenue of Champions by the north side of Memorial Stadium has been eliminated, according to Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich. He also told The Clemson Insider prior to Wednesday’s Prowl & Growl event in Charleston that fans can expect metal detectors to be used at every gate entrance as they make their way into the stadium.
The metal detectors are the reason why Clemson has decided to remove cars from the avenue of champions.
“We did the pilot program last year with the metal detectors and kind of moved them around to the different gates. When we were on the avenue of champions, Gate 5 and Gate 9, because cars were there, it just did not work,” Radakovich said. “There are incredible photographs, fifteen minutes before the Syracuse game, with people hoarding to try and get into the gates.
“As we kind of morphed into making this a more standard procedure around the stadium, it was pretty evident we would have to clear off the cars on the avenue of champions to be able to have the right kind of set up to allow the people to go through the metal detector and then kind of walk ones and twos up to the gate to get your ticket scanned to go in. That is going to be a much better circumstance for people who are on the north side of the stadium.”
Radakovich says Clemson will bisect the Avenue of Champions area with a pedestrian lane to be able to go from the east to west side of the stadium. It will also be where the bus will come through to take players to the hill prior to kickoff. It is expected to be about a 20-foot wide area, a lot bigger than a regular lane of traffic.
“There, we will have the queuing areas and we will have the medal detectors and people will get on the sidewalk and be able to make their choice to go in either Gate 5 or Gate 9,” Radakovich said. “As people look at that area, it may be one of the easier spots to get into the stadium. Even if you are on the south side of the stadium, depending on where you park, you can go in there and walk through the oculus to get to the south side of the stadium.
“Much like water, people will find the best way to get in, but from a safety and security perspective, it was just needed and necessary.”
Radakovich said eliminating parking on the Avenue Champions side of the stadium will affect 140 parking spots. To counter most of that Clemson is starting a project in Lot 5, the lot in front of the West Zone, that will make up 100 of those parking spots. That projected is to begin in June.
“Then we are going to do a couple of other things to help mitigate the other forty in that area,” he said. “Because of building the softball stadium, and some other things, we have lost some other parking opportunities at Jervey Meadows, but we kind of knew that was going to happen because of the building of that facility.”