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Arena to offer 2,700 parking spots for game

The Urban Plains Center will have more than 2,700 parking spots available onsite and in satellite lots for the 5,000-plus fans expected for tonight's Fargo Force hockey game, an arena official said Wednesday afternoon.

Graphic: Parking

The Urban Plains Center will have more than 2,700 parking spots available onsite and in satellite lots for the 5,000-plus fans expected for tonight's Fargo Force hockey game, an arena official said Wednesday afternoon.

Jeremy Hanson, security director and parking coordinator for the arena, said an 800-spot gravel main lot west of the center and a 500-spot gravel lot northwest of the nearby Mexican Village restaurant should be ready in time for the game.

"They're actually working on that as we speak," Hanson said of the main lot.

He said perimeter fencing for the lot will be erected this morning.

Hanson said another 1,225 spaces will be available at several Park District sites, the nearby PRACS Institute and at two area bars.

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There will also be two main access routes to the southwest Fargo arena.

The city said it will open the newly laid stretch of 32nd Avenue South between 45th Street South and the 51st Street South access to the UP Center tonight for the game. It will then be closed for construction until Sunday's Jewel concert, and temporarily opened again.

The arena can also be accessed from 45th Street South, by going west on Brandt Drive, following it to 30th Avenue South, and continuing west to the arena.

Hanson said the lots will be staffed and there will be signs saying if they are full. He said Fargo police and EVAC will help with traffic control.

The lot west of the UP Center will be split between parking for suite holders and those who have purchased season parking passes or $3 event parking passes. He said there will be some handicapped parking spots in the west lot and 47 handicapped spots on the southeast corner of the arena. Another roughly 150 paved parking spots are available around the arena.

Hanson said there will be six buses shuttling event-goers from parking lots at the Southwest Arena, Tharaldson Field, Anderson Softball Complex and PRACS Institute. There will be no charge for the buses.

Two bars, Fargo's J.T. Cigarros on 45th Street South and Hooligans in West Fargo, will supply event parking. Hanson said J.T. Cigarros will have a shuttle bus, and Hooligans plans to use two trolley buses.

Hanson and Fargo police urge the event-goers to carpool, leave early for the event and be patient.

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Doors to the facility are to open to the public at 5 p.m., with doors to the arena bowl opening at 6 p.m. The opening ceremony is set for 7 p.m.

Dropping the ceremonial puck at 7:20 p.m. will be former Fargo Mayor Bruce Furness.

Performing the "Star-Spangled Banner" and "Oh, Canada" will be Jim Cornelison, who sings the anthems for the Chicago Blackhawks, Johnson said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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