In the old days, arenas and stadiums were located on the outskirts of cities, concrete giants surrounded by acres of parking lots. They were at the centres of their own pavement prairies.
But, Edmonton is just the latest city to see a major sporting venue move downtown. And, with that, comes the most noticeable trade-off; the area-code-sized parking lot is gone. Rogers Place will become part of the downtown fabric – so the best way to get there is by leaving the car behind.
Edmonton Transit is the most affordable option. An adult fare – good for 90 minutes from the time you take your first trip – is $3.25. For $9.25, an adult and up to four kids can ride on a day pass, with unlimited transfers.
So, with the MacEwan LRT stop right next to the arena, that’s the most logical place to get on and off the trains, right?
The MacEwan stop is on the Metro Line, which still isn’t able to run trains at full speed because of all the post-construction glitches. It’s important to note that the City is urging commuters to use the Capital Line. Yes, the MacEwan LRT stop is directly behind the arena, but ETS advises that it’s better to walk a couple of blocks to the Bay/Enterprise Square station.
“While Metro Line is certainly an option, its current max capacity is to run three car trains every 15 minutes,” says ETS spokesperson Jennifer Laraway.
So, if thousands of people descend upon MacEwan station, the bottlenecks will be a major problem. Meanwhile, ETS says it will have trains running every seven to 10 minutes on the Capital Line before and after Oilers games and other major arena events. And those trains can have five cars each – meaning more passengers can get on.
Plus, all the park and ride locations are located on the Capital Line. They are located at
Now, you likely have read that some of these lots are now moving to have paid reserved stalls. But, all bets are off after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on the weekends. There are no reserved spots during weekends or during the weekday evenings. And the Oilers don’t play weekday afternoons, so there shouldn’t be any issue with reserved spots.
There will also be two park and ride spots at
Davies (86 Street & 61 Avenue)
Eaux Claires (97 Street & 157 Avenue)
From there, riders can take direct buses downtown.
Remember that a park and ride is not an excuse to drink and drive. The duration of a train or bus ride is not enough time to sober up and get behind the wheel. By all means, enjoy the things the arena and the surrounding downtown establishments have to offer. But, if you imbibe, ensure that you’ve got a ride that will take you back to your front door or within walking distance of your front door.
If you can get vaccinated before the end of summer, will you consider going on vacation?