Sweet 16 Tournament: Preparing for the traffic problems

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Thousands of people continue to pack Rupp Arena for the Boys Sweet 16 Tournament, leaving Lexington a little congested in the downtown area.

Last year, parking officials say nearly 17,000 vehicles were parked around the Lexington Center for the Boys Sweet 16 Tournament, not including the vehicles that parked on nearby streets and parking garages for the tournament.

"So far we've been really steady and really busy. As typical as years past", says Gerald Newby, the Parking Manager for the Lexington Center.

The expected increase in traffic for the tournament also caused some fans to arrive early.

"We came early for that reason", says West Jessamine fan Bobby Patterson.

"We came early anticipating parking problems, but it's been no problem whatsoever. It's been great", says Muhlenberg County High School fan Don Hendricks.

Officials say fans are bound to see more traffic during the day, with less parking downtown during that time.

They say they also have to deal with fan buses that the schools bring, making sure they have places to park. Usually they see anywhere from 40 to 60 fan buses a day during the tournament, but that number jumped on Wednesday as Muhlenberg High School brought 34 buses. The school recently consolidated local high schools in Muhlenberg County. This is the first year for the schools to be joined, and the first year the school made it to the Sweet 16.

Parking staff say this could have been a major traffic problem, but they were prepared for it.

"We have a bigger area blocked off and moved staff to help park them", says Gerald Newby.