The New Face of Tailgating

Emotions always run high on game day, but Texas Tech football fans can take simple measures to ensure that traffic woes don’t contribute to their anxiety.

Fans seeking game-day parking around Jones SBC Stadium will see some changes this year as Marsha Sharp Freeway construction along the Brownfield Highway progresses.

The Town and Country parking lot at the corner of Fourth Street and University Avenue, which has become familiar tailgating territory for many fans, will not be available this year. Those lots have been demolished as contractors launch the first step in Phase 2 of the freeway project.

Texas Tech will instead provide parking for tailgaters near the intersection of 18th Street and Indiana Avenue, across from the United Spirit Arena. Buses will be provided to shuttle tailgaters from the parking lot to Jones SBC Stadium.

The lots will open at 5:30 p.m. on the Friday before the game and users must be out of the lot by the time it converts back to student commuter parking at 7:30 a.m. the following Monday.

Additionally, people must have their vehicle to claim the spaces, says Lee Sonnenberg, enforcement manager for Texas Tech Traffic and Parking Services. “They cannot just put out cinderblocks or other items as placeholders the night before.”

Users will be fined for any damages they inflict on the lots, Sonnenberg adds.

Parking will be prohibited along the north side of the Brownfield Highway, including areas located on the medians and on the north side of Fourth Street from west of Boston Avenue to east of University Avenue. Also, fans will not be allowed to park in any area between Fourth Street and Second Street and between Santa Fe Drive and University Avenue.

“It’s really a safety issue,” says Randy Hopmann, Lubbock District Engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation. “Whether it’s a regular class day or game day, people do not need to be parking in the construction zone. It’s also difficult for the contractor to work if the right-of-way is full of cars.”

The contractor will tow vehicles on game day if it becomes a safety problem, or if those vehicles are restricting the flow of traffic or interrupting construction, he added.

“It is not our intent to take away anything from the tailgating tradition,” he says. “It is our intent, however, to minimize the disruption to traffic and construction activity.”

Additional parking information will be sent to season ticket holders with their season ticket packages.

More Texas Tech parking information can be found