MADISON, Ala. – Operations at Toyota Field are fully underway, but the home opener came with stand-still traffic, parking lot clusters, and other issues.
Lindsey Knupp with the Trash Panda’s says thankfully the issues they faced on opening night were things they could and did adjust going into Tuesdays game.
“We realized really quickly this is a problem, this is an issue and we need to change it,” says Trash Panda’s VP of Marketing Lindsey Knupp.
Lindsey Knupp with the Trash Pandas says after Monday’s home opener, they immediately starting working to fix issues with traffic and parking.
“We met with the city we met with a lot of different local leaders and we’ve decided to come up with a new plan,” says Knupp.
They removed a barricade at the bottom of the I-565 ramp adding an extra entry point to the stadium.
“Now instead of one point of entry coming through and all the six lanes coming together we can release at three different ways and come in through Stadium Way, Trash Panda Way and right up a 565 into the parking lot,” says Knupp.
The Trash Panda’s are also changing the flow of parking. The team has around 2,000 parking spots for a 7,500 capacity stadium.
“We are opening all of our spaces to all cars… so we did have a reserved spot held last night for our VIP parking. We’ve opened all of that up,” says Knupp.
On opening night, Trash Pandas stopped charging for parking just to get people in the gates, losing money but saying it was worth it.
“You know whatever was lost last night is certainly what is not an issue for us. We just wanna make sure that everything that we can moving forward as smooth parking is the first experience that you’re going to have when you come to the game so we know that that is super important,” says Knupp.
Knupp says they also had to work out kinks with the sound system.
“We knew they were going to be growing pain it was our first night and what a great problem to have I mean if we’re going to run into things I think we can fix it wasn’t anything that we aren’t able to fix,” says Knupp.
Fans also complained about the concession stand lines. The Trash Pandas say they are short staffed and could use at least 50 employees to help operations run better.
“Food lines was another thing that was a sticking point for some folks are is unfortunately all around labor shortage. So we could still use some employees. We’re looking actively for more employees to help us on game day,” says Knupp.
The Trash Pandas are continuing to work through issues and say they want to hear feedback from fans to make the experience better.