Traffic management plan creates easier access for AT&T Center

The AT&T Center hosts a variety of entertainment services, including the San Antonio Spurs, the San Antonio Rampage hockey team, concerts, and other events that draw large crowds. Traffic at these events had been a challenge, particularly at the end of each event, when all attendees departed the facility’s parking lot at once. In addition, the AT&T Center wanted to add 200 VIP parking spaces that would have direct access to their newly constructed amenities.

To assist with their goals, which included improving the egress operation to keep the total exiting time under 45 minutes, Alliance Transportation first reviewed the existing traffic management plan for exiting the AT&T Center.  This review was in response to the planned reconstruction of Houston Street, east of AT&T Center Parkway, scheduled to commence in April of 2013.

The Alliance team worked with the arena and with the San Antonio Spurs. As part of our research, we were able to enjoy a game before observing first-hand the parking operations and egress from the stadium lookouts. It was definitely a unique experience for a transportation project!

As a result of Alliance’s study, we recommended short term modifications to the traffic management plan to be implemented during construction.  Houston Street was reduced to two lanes during construction.  Alliance also identified potential projects to be included in a possible 2017 Bond Call to further improve access to and from the AT&T Center/Freeman Coliseum venue.

Analyzing special events is always interesting because of the interaction between parking, local roadway networks, pedestrians, and special services of the event. In the case of the AT&T Center, there are many limousines and ADA vehicles that have to be accommodated that prevented the implementation of various alternatives.

Our solution provided 200 VIP parking spaces adjacent to the new amenities and improved the parking lot egress. The Center saw vast improvement between the egress before and after implementation.

This study was unusual in that we were able to observe the direct impacts of our recommendations. We provided recommendations that were implemented immediately and that created a significant improvement in parking operations for event attendees. Our work on this project was so successful that it led to another project to study the parking egress for the San Antonio soccer team.