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Missouri Tigers first home football game to draw in crowds near 60,000

Police and University of Missouri leaders continued preparations on Friday for the first, home MU football game on Saturday.

This is the first game on Faurot Field since its nearly 46 million dollar expansion. The MU athletic department estimates a crowd near 60,000 people and told ABC 17 it sold the second highest number of season tickets in MU history, including a sold out student ticket allotment of 10,000 passes.

Students on MU campus told ABC 17 they’re excited for the game but not the heavy traffic and parking headaches that come with it.

“You got to think about it,” said a group of MU student on campus. “If you don’t buy a pass to park at the game, then, you know, you have to find…there’s a lot of people from a lot of different cities that can’t drive. A lot of people come out to our games.”

According to Captain Brian Weimer with the MU Police Department, more than a hundred officers between his unit and the Columbia Police Department will monitor the traffic and activity throughout most of the day. Sergeant Paul Reinsch with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said 65 state troopers will join that number.

Several people find parking along Stadium, Providence and Rock Quarry Road around the stadium, but Captain Weimer encourages a safer alternative.

“We understand people will park on the shoulders of the roads way out there,” he said. “Realize, though, that it is pretty dangerous to do. We strongly encourage them to go on campus and take advantage of one of the parking garages on campus.”

New this year, Mick Deaver Drive will be closed for inbound traffic coming from Stadium Boulevard.

“With the expansion, it’s pushed it so far back near the road,” Weimer said. “For safety reasons, and just for the incredible number of people out there, it will be closed down for inbound but will be open for outbound.”

To get students and the community even more excited for the game tomorrow, MU is hosting a free movie screening of “The Blind Side” at Faurot Field on Friday. The gates open at 7:30 p.m. before the movie starts at 8:30 p.m.

You can still buy tickets to the game on Saturday. If you donate three non-perishable items at the gate, you’ll get five dollars off a general admissions ticket.

CoMo Connect transit system will have a direct route to Faurot Field on game day, as well.

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