Feb 26, 2012; Tallahassee, FL, USA; A general view of Tampa Bay Times Forum in the second half of the game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the South Florida Bulls. The Bulls won 46-45. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE
Just wanted to make sure everyone saw this advisory that Athletics issued for everyone driving to the Forum for today's game. Because of the Gasparilla Distance Classic on Bayshore, it's going to be tougher than usual for people to get to the arena from points south and west of downtown.
Due to the Gasparilla Distance Classic taking place in Downtown Tampa on Saturday, March 3, the Tampa Bay Times Forum is advising all guests to use alternate routes of transportation to gain access into the arena for the noon tip-off of the USF Men’s Basketball game against West Virginia.
The City of Tampa is expecting approximately 25,000 attendees at the annual race, causing several street closures and potential delays to high-traffic areas in close proximity to the Times Forum. Fans are advised to utilize Morgan Street and Tampa Street, as well as Meridian Drive, Florida Avenue and Old Water Street, as each will be open all day. The Platt Street Bridge, meanwhile, will be closed until noon, while a stretch of Bayshore Boulevard will be closed from Brorein Street to Gandy Boulevard. In addition, the
CrosstownSelmon expressway will remain open to exit onto Florida Avenue. Normal traffic flow should re-open at the conclusion of the race, expected to be around 1 p.m.
Florida Avenue is a one-way street going north, so that won't help you get to the Forum. I'd also suggest avoiding Ashley Drive as much as possible, since the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts starts today in Curtis Hixon Park, next to the Tampa Museum of Art. Your best bet if you're coming from the USF campus is to take Exit 45A from I-275 (the "Downtown-East" exit) and take the first left, which winds its way to Pierce Street. Then follow that to Whiting Street, and eventually you can get on Brorein, go underneath the Selmon to get to Channelside, and figure it out from there.
For you visual learners, here's a handy map to tell you where to go and where not to go. Once the game ends, everything should be back to normal. Click to enlarge.