Pasadena officials are expecting a huge turnout at the Rose Bowl Thursday for the final soccer match in the Copa America Centenario 2016 series, which will pit Mexico against Jamaica.
The city said 80,000 fans will likely show up and advised fans to arrive no later than 5 p.m. for the 7 p.m. game. The Rose Bowl has a maximum capacity of 92,542.
The huge turnout will mean freeway congestion and heavy traffic on surface streets near the stadium.
Road closures started at 10 a.m. For tips on getting there sanely, see below.
At stake for Mexico is a spot in the quarterfinals. The Associated Press reports that Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio and his players are only slight favorites, given Jamaica's knack for surprising opponents with opportunistic goal-scoring.
But Osorio also hasn’t lost yet in his eight games as Mexico’s new manager and the team is unbeaten in its last 20 international matches, according to AP.
Here’s more from the wire service on Team Mexico:
The last time Mexico played in Pasadena was last October, when tens of thousands of locals roared for their 3–2 victory over the United States and its outnumbered fans in the playoff for a Confederations Cup berth.
The cheers in Arroyo Seco will be even more one-sided against Jamaica, but Mexico doesn’t take its L.A. support for granted.
“Every time we play here in the United States, we are very privileged,” Mexico defender Hector Moreno said. “We are very blessed to have the support of the people here. Whether it’s in Los Angeles or any major (U.S.) city, they come to support us, and we take that as extra motivation, rather than that being a disadvantage. We think our opponents are used to playing in hostile situations.”
For Jamaica’s part, the team suffered a dispiriting 1–0 loss to Venezuela in its tournament opener. Jamaica could use a win Thursday, but the “Reggae Boyz” haven’t beaten Mexico since 1997, AP reports.
For fans who want to attend, below are some tips from police and city officials.
- Parking lots open at 3 p.m.
- Save time for increased security: head to the gates no later than 5:30 p.m.
- If you bring a bag, make sure it’s clear: Rose Bowl security isn’t accepting anything that isn’t see-through that’s larger than a clutch-size bag (4.25“ x 6.25”).
- Use alternate transportation: There will be limited parking in the Arroyo Seco area and officials are offering a perk for those who carpool with four or more — you can get a $10 meal voucher while supplies last.
- Take the shuttle: There’s a $5, round-trip shuttle located at the Parsons Engineering Co. parking lot at 100 W. Walnut St. That’s jsut two blocks from the Metro Gold Line’s “Memorial Park” rail station.