Flyboy, where you park is a difficult place to get out.
Here is what I would do:
1.) From the soccer field lots try to go back toward the softball stadium and then onto Jack Warner
2.) Head east on Jack Warner until you have to turn right onto Crescent Ridge Road.
3.) Crescent Ridge runs into University Blvd.
4.) Turn left onto University...go all the way on University until it runs into I-59/20 in Cottondale.
Should be pretty smooth sailing from there. I suspect this could save you a good hour and a half.
Like everyone says....avoid McFarland at all costs.
PS----Not to rub it in, but I am lucky, live in Tuscaloosa, about 10 miles from the stadium. I can usually get home before Nick finishes his radio show (and I never leave the game early).
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It usually just takes me 1/2 hr to get away from the stadium and to Northport because we stay with my daughter/grad student!
I didn't have much of a problem getting out, but I left right after that INT because I thought the game was over. I know shouldn't have left, but I did.
I do apologize for my crazy driving on the way home, however.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:18
Here is a route onto the interstate in 10 minutes once you hit Jack Warner Parkway. You have to go toward downtown on Jack Warner(River Road to those of us over 50). Go straight past Greensboro Avenue turn and past the Tuscaloosa Amp on Warner Pkwy. Turn left right past The Tuscaloosa News offices. Turn left at the light and turn right and you'll be on 359. Stay away from the part of campus that routes you toward McFarland. Anything on the east side of campus will route you toward Mcfarland. Or you can park at Central high school and pay 20 bucks and be on the interstate in about 10 minutes as well.
“I know what it takes to win. If I can sell them on what it takes to win, then we are not going to lose too many football games.” - Coach Paul Bryant and I can see Coach Nick Saban agreeing completely.
I was at my truck in the soccer fields at the end of regulation. Timed it perfectly with pretty minimal traffic...I hate being the guy that leaves early...if I didn't it would add 3 or 4 hours to my drive. I hate traffic.
I was at the game. I left the stadium when the game ended. Walked back to my car parked near the pratice field and jacks. Got back to bham before 7:30. At 7:30 I was at Hop City drinking a beer.
I had a friend show me a really quick way to 20/59 last year, you have to drive through a neighborhood. But I would appreciate it if everyone keeps driving down McFarland, hwy 11 and 359 to get out of Tuscaloosa.
We also cut through McCalla to skip all the merging traffice at 20/59 and 459.
OP -- Avoid McFarland at all costs. The routes described here are some I have used, especially Jack Warner. But this Saturday night went pretty well. I stayed till the bitter end of the game and came out Gate 17. I stopped by the Quad for a minute to say good bye to friends. I walked to my parking spot by the Health Center (yes, long walk but I needed to burn off some frustration anyway). Turned out of the parking lot, one light change to turn on to University. Followed it straight out. I did not sit through two changes of lights but one time. I got on 20/59 at the Mercedes plant, no waiting to merge. It was pretty close to speed limit conditions, though it slowed just a bit at 459. My family makes fun of how slowly I drive, but doing close enough to the speed limit to avoid tickets and with a stop for gas and the bathroom, I was back at home in middle Tennessee shortly after 10. Again, get on anywhere but McFarland. Alternatively, if you are willing to sit around the stadium to avoid the crowds, just watch the post game press conference, spend time on the Quad. You'll be late getting home, but if you wait 2.5 to 3 hours after game time to start your trip, you'll be behind most of the traffic. Going up through Jasper works very well too, if you are headed north, but I don't recommend you drive it the first time at night.
We live in Chattanooga and have been going to home games for over 25 years. We stay at hotels in B'ham because the ones in T-town have always been sold out. For it to be only 40 miles, it has always been a long drive on game days. It used to take forever to get to T-town for a game back when they all started at 11am because everyone would be on the road at the same time to get there. With the games starting later, the trip to the game is back to normal (usually no more than an hour) due a gradual procession to the game.
Leaving after game has always been a pain. With the stadium expansion the past decade and people realizing that they can now be part of the game day experience whether they attend the game or not, it has gotten much worse. So, it is actually more than 102,000 leaving at the same time. Although we always stay until the very end, I kind of understand why a lot of people start leaving in droves midway through the 4th quarter.
I realized that with at least 15,000 cars on I-59 at the same time that the flow of traffic should be slower. However, what my mind refuses to accept is why the traffic has to come to a complete stop with top speeds of 20 mph until the interstate opens to 3 lanes? It seems like we should all be able to be on there going 45-50 mph. I know this will never happen but this has been bothering me for almost 30 years.
We have taken various routes to back B'ham after games: I-359 to I-59/20, I-359 to Skyland Blvd to I-59/20, and highways 215 or 216 to I-59/20. No matter which way we choose, that 40 mile drive still takes between 3-4 hours. For the games that start at 8-8:30, by the time we get back to our hotel it is at least 3am. My sister, whose flight back to Maryland usually leaves at 6am, doesn't even bother going to bed.
Since one of us is disabled, we park at the Campus Drive parking deck. If anyone has a better/quicker way for us to get to B'ham (Academy Dr) after the game, please PM me. I promise I won't tell anyone else
"There's lots of Tigers and Bears, but there's only one Crimson Tide." -Mal Moore
"It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference." - Paul (Bear) Bryant
"Arguing with a fool proves there are two." - Doris M. Smith