It's the most wonderful time of the year. Players have reported to camp and it's time for us poor non-TAF folks to figure out where the hell we are going to park this season. While looking something else up I discovered that LSU has put up the parking map for the 2015 season. Using a hard copy of the 2014 map for comparison, these are the changes I found.
Here's the whole map (click here to view fullsize)
The small free parking lot on the south side of the Law School across the street from the New bookstore/parking garage is now closed. Incidentally, I've so far heard only good things from folks who use the Parking Garage. If you've got a story to tell, please share in the comments below.
The $20-40 Game-by-Game parking (the light blue area above) remains nearly unchanged from last season. For now, no new TAF lots have encroached upon the areas that those of us hardcore tailgaters wage battle over every Friday night/Saturday morning. Note that a portion of Tower Dr. remains closed, effectively splitting the area in two at South Stadium Dr.
The $20-40 area has one small addition this year. The lot around Knapp Hall at Highland and S Stadium, which I believe used to be closed to all, is now part of the area.
Taylor Hall (AKA, The Artist Formerly Known As CEBA) is in the midst of a major renovation. Because of this, Lot 305 has a large chunk of it missing this year. As that's a TAF lot, you probably already know this if you park there.
You filthy rich person, you.
I've saved the biggest change for last. The free Levee and Hayfield Lots have not changed in size, but they have both changed their exiting rules from last year. Hayfield will now exit East on Gourrier, sending you to Nicholson and the contraflow headed south. The main Levee Lot now has both of it's exits heading south in the River Road contraflow, sending drivers all the way down to the casino.
What this means is that if you are a driver from anywhere North or West of Baton Rouge, you've got a helluva trek ahead of you. You'll be going all the way to the end of the contraflow at Bluebonnet Blvd, 5 miles south of campus, before you can even begin to turn towards I-10 to go back the way you came.
...Unless I've gotten this all wrong. Full disclosure here: Me and my crew party in front of Coates Hall and park around the Parade Grounds on the East side of campus. I haven't been west of Tiger Stadium on a gameday in almost a decade. My thought here is that if you are parked in the Levee or Hayfield lots, you might be able to take the dirt road that runs in front of Tiger Park north to Bertman Drive. From there, you could turn left and take River Road north to downtown BR and the Westbound I-10 on-ramp there. If you park in this area and you have to go west, would that work? (I'm asking folks like penny to sound off in the comments below).
There will be more details about parking and tailgating this season when the Fan Guide is released, which should be any day now. Policies like the banning of shoulder parking on Nicholson and Burbank are likely to remain in force as they were last year. We'll let you know of any further changes.