SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Thousands of soccer fans converged on Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara for the Gold Cup Finals match between USA and Jamaica.
Santa Clara Police and VTA were anticipating what would happen as 55,000 spectators converged on Levi's Stadium during the height of the evening commute. With each special event staged at the 49ers' stadium, the agencies are learning how best to keep traffic and spectators moving with minimal delays and congestion.
What they hoped wouldn't happen is a repeat of Sunday's match between Real Madrid and Manchester United when a penalty-kick shootout caused 60,000 fans to leave all at once. That led to gridlock.
Road detours and road blocks were in place to help with traffic flow, and Santa Clara Police were monitoring 10 traffic cameras inside a command post at Levi's Stadium where they can adjust signal light timing to improve vehicle flow.
VTA expected to carry about 6,000 passengers, or about 10 percent of the spectators. Additional trains, train cars and buses will be put into service since the 6:30 p.m. game will have fans riding public transit along with regular commuters. Ambassadors will also be posted at stations to help those unfamiliar with the system.
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Great America was open as usual. The theme park next to Levi's Stadium was expected to be busy with typical summer crowds, so that will also add to traffic volume.
About the only person we talked to today not phased by the crowds is the manager of Bennigan's, the bar and restaurant across from Great America and Levi's Stadium. David Flowers says he expects to see double the business of a normal Wednesday. Customers on Sunday had a two-hour wait to get inside because of the Real Madrid-Manchester United game. 50-cent beer is normally featured on Wednesdays, but that's not happening tonight. Still, Flowers says by bringing in extra staff, the restaurant will be able to handle the crush. An added bonus for his customers: They have 250 parking spaces and can leave their cars there and walk over to the game.