Jen Fifield, Arizona Republic
Published 8:00 a.m. MT Aug. 7, 2019 | Updated 3:11 p.m. MT Aug. 8, 2019
University of Phoenix Stadium and the surrounding area in Glendale will see more than $100 million in upgrades by Super Bowl LVII in 2023.
William Flannigan, azcentral
Kick-off is 7 p.m. Thursday for the Arizona Cardinals’ preseason home opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Fans will want to get there much earlier, though, to avoid traffic and take part in the pregaming.
Here’s what ticket holders need to know before they make their way to State Farm Stadium in Glendale for the game.
When should I leave work to get to the game?
Gamegoers looking for the full game day experience might want to pack things up at work a bit earlier than usual.
The parking lots at State Farm Stadium open at 3 p.m. and the Cardinals recommend getting there before 5 p.m. to avoid traffic.
The team is predicting a mess on the highways with the combination of rush hour and fans heading to the game.
Parking and tailgating information can be found at azcardinals.com/stadium/a-to-z-guide.
Do I really want to get to the game that early?
The question is: Do you like to party?
The Great Lawn, the pregame tailgating area, will open at 3 p.m.
Tailgating is also allowed in all of the Cardinals’ lots, but not in the neighboring Westgate Entertainment District or Tanger Outlets lots.
At 4 p.m., fans can head to Gate 2 and take the escalators down to the Big Red Brew Haus presented by Four Peaks Brewing Company. The indoor pregame area will include a variety of beer selections, a traditional Brew Haus menu, pool tables and TVs.
While fans are near Gate 2, they could stock up on Card’s swag from the Cardinals Team Shop. It opens at 4 p.m.
If you’d rather wait until you can grab your seats, the main entrance gates to State Farm Stadium will open at 5:30 p.m.
Where do I park? Where is parking cheapest?
Season ticket holders have free designated parking in the colored lots around the stadium.
Two parking lots adjacent to the stadium will be available for game day parking for $20 a spot.
Coming from the north, fans can enter the Yellow Lot off 91st Avenue just south of Maryland Avenue. Coming from the south, fans can enter the Black Lot from Camelback and 95th avenues.
Parking passes for those lots can be purchased in advance online at parkingjuju.com.
Gamegoers who don’t mind walking can park in the nearby Westage and Tanger Outlets shopping areas, with the chance of getting their money back if they go shopping there.
At Westgate, those who park there for $10 can show their parking receipt to a participating store or restaurant at Westgate that day and receive up to $10 off their bill. Cash and credit card are accepted.
More stores and restaurants are participating this year.
Tanger Outlets doesn’t charge for parking during the pre-season.
If fans don’t want to drive, they can Lyft or Uber to the ride share lot at 93rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road.
Does State Farm Stadium have a clear-bag policy?
NFL policy states that fans can only bring the following type of bags inside the stadium: 12-inch-by-6-inch-by-12-inch clear plastic bag; 1-Gallon plastic freezer bag; small clutch bag no larger than 4.5-inch-by- 6.5-inch.
Items that aren’t allowed inside the stadium are listed on the Cardinals website.
All fans will be subject to security screening, and all bags will be inspected.
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Get ready to empty your pockets of cellphones, cameras and other large metal items. Other items, like keys, wallets, coins and belts don’t need to be removed.
How can I give back at the game?
Bring some extra cash.
Cardinals cheerleaders and volunteers will be accepting cash donations outside of all stadium entrances to benefit local underserved students.
The back-to-school drive is being hosted by the Cardinals, Albertsons-Safeway and 12 News.
The beneficiary of Thursday’s 50/50 Raffle is Teach for America.
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