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Officials advise fans to arrive early

From The Battalion

By Melissa Sullivan
Published: Friday, September 16, 2005

Texas A&M University Assistant Police Chief Mike Ragan has some advice for the thousands expected to converge on campus Saturday for the football home opener.

Show up early.

"Make a day of it," he said. "There's a lot of things they can do on campus."

As if the usual gameday traffic wasn't bad enough, Ragan reminded drivers that construction on Texas Avenue and Villa Maria and Finfeather roads will cause additional delays. So plan accordingly, he said.

The Aggies will take on the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Kyle Field. The game starts at 11:30 a.m.

For fans who do not want to drive or sit in traffic, Texas A&M Transportation Services offers a free shuttle service to Kyle Field from Post Oak Mall. The buses begin running three hours before kickoff and continue for two hours after the game.

Those who prefer to drive to campus can pay $15, cash only, and park in general parking lots surrounding Kyle Field. Those lots include parking areas 42, 50,61,65, 66, 67, 68, 70, 100 f and 102. Parking also is available in the central campus, northside and west campus parking garages. Permit holders may park only in their designated lots.

No street parking will be allowed on campus.

Fans who plan on tailgating before the game need to be aware of a rule change this year, Ragan said. No alcohol or grilling will be permitted inside any of the campus garages. Alcohol and grilling still are allowed in parking lots.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, about 10,000 tickets for the game remained, said Alan Cannon, associate athletic director at A&M. Of those, 700 were in the south end zone bleachers; the cost is $25. All other tickets cost $50.

To purchase tickets, call 1-888-99AGGIE or 845-2311, or log on to www.aggieathletics.com.

Ragan said law enforcement officials are gearing up for the crowd. More than 200 security personnel from six agencies will be working throughout the stadium. In addition, officers will be directing traffic after the game, he said.

"We are real fortunate to have a good group of fans that make our job a lot easier," Ragan said. "So come and have fun."