Las Vegas’ annual gathering of cowboys and cowgirls is set to kick off Thursday with the start of the National Finals Rodeo, which will bring a herd of fans with it.
The 10-day event runs through Dec. 14 at the Thomas &Mack Center on the UNLV campus, with an estimated 170,000 people expected to attend the event over its duration — 40,000 of those being from out of state — according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.
“It will likely result in heavy traffic on surrounding roads and possible parking issues around UNLV,” said Tony Illia, transportation department spokesman.
Motorists are urged to plan accordingly, alotting additional time to their commutes if traveling through the Paradise Road corridor, including East Tropicana Avenue and East Flamingo Road, during event days.
The heaviest inflow of traffic to the area will be between 4:30 and 7 p.m., according to UNLV. Message boards will be placed in the area with a Clark County traffic technician on site to assist with traffic lights.
The rodeo also will affect parking at Thomas &Mack, according to UNLV’s Parking &Transportation Services office, with those issues increasing next week when the university’s fall semester finals week kicks off Monday.
White lot: The far eastern portion of the White Lot will be closed for the Pro Rodeo Zone and will reopen on Dec.17.
The near eastern portion of the White Lot will be used for NFR shuttle transportation until Dec. 14. During NFR, around 750 spaces will be affected in the White Lot.
Black VIP lot: The Black VIP Lot will be closed to all faculty, staff and students after 10 a.m. on each event day, affecting around 320 parking spaces.
Naples lot: The first two rows of the Naples Lot will be used for participant parking after 10 a.m. The far west half of the lot will be used for bus and limo transportation. Around 330 parking spaces will be affected during NFR. The central remaining portion of the lot is open for student parking until 2 p.m. daily.
Alternative parking options
Additional parking is available in Lot T throughout the day south of the Stan Fulton Building (north side of campus west of the Flamingo access road).
For individuals wanting to avoid the traffic and parking challenges, starting Thursday, additional garage parking is available at various times after approximately 3 p.m. in the Cottage Grove parking garage (north side of campus on Cottage Grove Avenue), and in the University Gateway garage (at Maryland Parkway and Dorothy Avenue south of Café Rio).
Event staff: Part-time staff working the event will park in the far west side of the White Lot.
Tropicana parking garage: All university permit holders will still be allowed access to the Tropicana parking garage, which will be staffed to control space availability.