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10Listens: Traffic issues after Garth Brooks' concert were worse than a football game

Officials said there were two key reasons that the traffic after concert was worse than a typical UT home football game.

Garth Brooks put on an amazing show at Neyland Stadium this weekend and it's unlikely the 84,000 or so fans who attended had any complaints about the show.

The traffic issues afterward, however, did get some criticism.

We've heard from many people who attended the show that they were stuck in parking garages or streets for at least a couple of hours after the concert ended. Some wondered why it was so bad, considering the fact that UT hosts more fans than for any home football game.

We reached out to the City of Knoxville and KPD, who come up with the traffic plans for big events.

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Generally, officials thought it went pretty well and called it a successful event. The city was particularly happy with the boost all those concert-goers brought to the economy.

However, they did acknowledge traffic was worse for the concert than a typical football game for a couple of reasons.

First, just about everyone left the concert at the same time. Generally, for a football game, some fans will leave early and the mass exodus is scattered over a couple of hours.

Another reason is that many of those attending the concert were probably not as familiar with campus and the surrounding area, so it didn't go as smoothly.

KPD added that no matter how great the plans, when you have 80,000 plus people leaving at the same time, you will have unexpected delays.

Officers stayed on patrol until everyone was out, and all streets were reopened by midnight.

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KPD said it's too soon to know if they will make any changes for next time.

We also specifically asked UT about handicap shuttle service because one woman said she and others waited more than 90 minutes for one to arrive.

In a statement, UT said "Congestion after the Garth Brooks concert did delay shuttle runs. UT leadership will thoroughly review our processes to address the concerns about shuttle delays. All visitors should experience a safe and welcoming experience during events at UT and be treated with courtesy and respect at all times."

City officials are hoping to encourage more people to ride the bus for big events, and said there were hundreds of singe-day KAT ticket bought on Saturday.

They also said that Saturday was the first time the recently-enlarged State Street Garage was filled to capacity since it opened.

Since beer sales are still fairly new at Neyland Stadium, we also wanted to know how alcohol impacted behavior at the show.

UT said there 22 ejections by multiple agencies and three people were arrested and taken into custody. KPD said one of those arrests was for public intoxication and disorderly conduct and the other for just public intoxication. 

There were seven misdemeanor citations issued for selling alcohol to a minor, according to UT.

To compare that to football, there were 18 ejections due to alcohol at the BYU game, which is the first game where beer was sold, and 5 alcohol-related arrests.