Here we are, the week of TD Atlantic. I took a drive around the City of Moncton today and there are no signs pointing out the fact that on Sunday there will be a professional CFL game taking place at the Medavie Bluecross Stadium. The only indication that the game is coming that I could find was the fact the field goal posts are now standing and the $55,000 endzones have been installed. Though the field is still set up for soccer as the lines have not been switched over for football yet.
Medavie Bluecross stadium is located on the University of Moncton campus, which has a ton of flags surrounding every corner, yet not one is a CFL logo. There are no banners, no signs, or anything at all indicating that an event trying to attract 10,000 plus people is happening this upcoming Sunday.
The University of Moncton has a number of parking spaces around the campus and I have been advised that none of these spaces will allowed to be used for Touchdown Atlantic for various reasons:
- Space is needed for Students and Faculty
- Safety Issues due to the traffic in small campus
Let me address item 1 first. Will parking be an issue on a Sunday afternoon for Student and Staff? I was asked on Monday afternoon if I could participate in an interview with Kate Walker from CTV so I took the time to go to the University early and do some research on signage for the game and the parking situation. The only parking space that was being fully utilized is the parking space around the Hockey Arena as there was some kind of event taking place there. The following pictures are from the campus’s parking lots surrounding the stadium on a Monday afternoon.
Again, these are from a Monday afternoon. Not from a Sunday, but a Monday which I would be willing to bet is a much busier day on campus. We have the opportunity to set up a tent in the Tailgate pregame party, but even though we will have equipment and gear to set up, the parking lot is off limits to us. Meaning, we would have to lug this gear from an offsite location.
There will be numerous other ticket holders that will want front door access to the game, and I have been told not even Taxi Cabs will have access.
Some of you might remember my article about Parking with regards to the Moncton Avenir Center from 2018. My argument was we didn’t need a parking garage with all the modes of transportation to the downtown area. Well that is not the case with this game as there will be no city buses, or Taxi’s, or any other public transportation with access to the field, other than the shuttle buses coming from the Moncton Coliseum and a few other locations. This makes NO sense to me! Game day traffic in this city is going to be much heavier than on an average Sunday. What about the people coming from PEI, Dieppe, or Nova Scotia? Do we really expect them to drive past the stadium to get to the Coliseum, to get on a shuttle and double back? Whose idea was this?
When the TD Atlantic game became a reality, I specifically sent our Mayor a note asking to be on the planning committee. I never heard back from anyone, but I could have easily told you this idea would not work!!! If I was the home owners of all the houses surrounding the campus… I would be renting out my front yards for parking spots this Sunday!
Item number 2 makes less sense than item number 1. Correct me if I’m wrong but there are 4 points of entry to the Moncton Coliseum just off the highway. Well looking at the University, there are 3 Points of entry just off the highway. Could this one extra entry point add that much security that we must shuttle people across the city to get to the game?
My question to the University is do you even want to have this game on your grounds? Why not advise all the students and staff that will use the lots to park all in one lot for this Sunday and sell all the other spaces around the campus to create some additional funding for the University? This can’t be the plan in place if the Schooners actually become a reality and play their first, if not two years out of Medavie Bluecross Stadium right? Who is making the decisions on this? I have spoken to a number of staff members at the city and the university and have been unable to come up with the actual party involved in making this decision. As I mentioned in my previous Parking article, there are certain people in this city holding it back from becoming a city that people want to travel to for events similar to a CFL Professional Football Game.
Lastly, I think its also important to know that as of this Sunday, the fall students will not even be on campus yet, as a AUS Football official its not until week 2 of the football season at the end of August where the students are on campus for a home game. I really believe that someone or some committee has made a huge mistake on how they are going to handle traffic on game day at the University.
In the movie Field of Dreams the key line is “If you Build it, they will come”. Well I don’t remember the voice saying anything about making it tough for them to actually get into the facility!