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Football, Fair Traffic Do Not Mix

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RALEIGH — Triangle rush hours come with the traffic jam you would expect, but the Monday to Friday crunch does not explain the traffic nightmare that trapped many people Saturday when nearly 170,000 people all headed for the same place.

That sums up the problem when the fair and football collide, but many keep asking, "why does it have to happen?"

"What has happened is years ago the fair only ran one weekend, and now it runs two," explainedN.C. State AthleticsDirector Les Robinson.

He says fitting a game schedule around a ten-day fair is not as easy as it sounds. He admits it would make sense to schedule an open date and an away game during the fair, but he says he is not the one to make that call.

"And someone else really dictates, television more than anything else, when we play and who we play," Robinson said.

You will never hear fair officials tell people to stay home on their biggest money day of the week. Nor willN.C. Stateofficials discourage game attendance.

The solution may lie with attendees of both and the plans they make for the day.

"You can avoid that post game traffic by going to the fair," Robinson said. "Matter of fact, one highway patrolman suggested maybe you ought to give a discount or free tickets to everyone from the football game to get into the fair."

Robinson advises fairgoers to wait until after kickoff to come to the fairgrounds.

"Otherwise, you just might as well pack a lunch and plan to leave early and go home late," Robinson said.

That is advice you can take to heart next year when the fair and N.C. State football meet again.

The Conference Planning Committee will not come up with next year's football game schedule until at least mid-December.

The good news is next Saturday during the fair, N.C. State will be playing on the road. Reporter: Betsy Sykes


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