As Super Bowl LII nears, changes occur around campus

Tunnel closures and parking contracts relocations are among some of the disruptions caused by Super Bowl LII events on campus.

A car enters East River Road Garage on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 on East Bank in Minneapolis. The Super Bowl will move most University contracted parking to East River Road Garage for the weekend of the event.

Ellen Schmidt

A car enters East River Road Garage on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 on East Bank in Minneapolis. The Super Bowl will move most University contracted parking to East River Road Garage for the weekend of the event.

Tiffany Bui

Super Bowl LII is just over a week away, but disruptions on campus have already been felt by students. 

Tunnel closures and parking contract relocations are currently in progress as the University of Minnesota prepares to host Super Bowl-related events like the NFL Honors ceremony, which will be held at Northrop Auditorium. 

Students who attempted to enter The Gopher Way tunnels surrounding Northrop last week found they were closed to the public.

In preparation for NFL Honors, the tunnel routes through Northrop Auditorium Garage and the surrounding buildings of Johnston Hall, Morrill Hall and Church Street Garage were blocked off.

The closures were a safety measure to install shoring within the tunnels, said Ross Allanson, director of University Parking and Transportation Services in an email. 

The shoring is used to support the weight tents located on Northrop Plaza, Allanson explained.

The tents will be used for the NFL Honors event on Feb. 3. 

“Think of it as a temporary safe support,” said Mike Berthelsen, Vice President of University Services.

Tunnels in and around the garage will again close temporarily for the removal of the shoring starting on Feb. 5.

Parking contracts will also be affected during Super Bowl week. 

Due to installation of the shoring, parking in Northrop Garage and the Gateway Lot was scheduled for relocation ahead of Super Bowl weekend.

Northrop Garage parking has been moved to Church Street Garage, and Gateway Lot parking was transferred to the Maroon Lot on Friday. The parking relocations will last until after the shoring is removed.

During Super Bowl weekend, a majority of other parking spaces will be relocated to East River Road Garage. Parking contracts for a total of six campus lots, ramps and garages will be relocated to the East River Road location.

Still, Berthelsen maintained there will be enough space for everyone, including students.

“The East River Road Garage has a capacity of 1,919 stalls,” Berthelsen said in an email. “[Parking and Transportation Services] is comfortable that the garage can accommodate both public and contract parking demand for Super Bowl Sunday.”

Some students have encountered changes outside of campus on their commute to school.

University sophomore Cheemeng Xiong said city road closures have caused minor delays to his morning commute. 

But Xiong is more concerned about traffic on Super Bowl Sunday, as it may be more difficult to travel. 

“Traffic is gonna be pretty packed and busy … it’ll make getting to places like campus and work downtown a hassle if anything,” he said.