SARATOGA SPRINGS — Thousands of fans — of horse racing, country music or both — will converge on the Spa City Saturday, and the police department has advice for keeping traffic headaches to a minimum.
Gates open at 7 a.m. for the 148th Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, with post-time for the first race at 11:35 a.m. The Luke Bryan show at Saratoga Performing Arts Center is set for 7 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. and the large lots along Route 50 opening at 2 p.m.
Saratoga Spa State Park, which surrounds the concert venue, opens at 8 a.m., Assistant Chief John Catone noted in a prepared statement that included an extensive traffic mitigation plan.
“Early arrival is strongly suggested to avoid parking issues and potential late entry to the concert,” he said.
He also said the New York Racing Association’s lots open at 6:45 a.m., and he asked track attendees to arrive early, if possible.
Drivers taking the Northway to the racetrack are advised to consider taking exits 13N or 15 — as an alternative to Exit 14 — in order to alleviate delays.
Message boards along the Northway, Union Avenue and East Avenue will share directions to the track, as well as information about parking availability and directions for getting back to the Northway, Catone said.
Crescent Street at Jefferson Street will close to westbound traffic at 4 p.m.; traffic will be detoured, Catone said.
The police department’s traffic plan also includes instructions on where taxis, limousines and Uber drivers should drop off and pick up trackgoers.
Drivers taking the Northway to SPAC should take exits 12, 13 and 15; “DO NOT attempt to use Exit 14,” the department’s advisory states.