Preparing for Bowl Game Traffic

By: Eyewitness News; FDOT; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Eyewitness News; FDOT; Lanetra Bennett Email

Updated by Lanetra Bennett - Tallahassee, Florida - 12-29-11

With a sold out game, you can imagine the crowds in Orlando for Thursday's Champs Sports Bowl.

Many football fans didn't hit the road until Thursday morning, heading to Orlando to catch the showdown between the Florida State Seminoles and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Orlando officials say 65,000 people were expected in the city, which is why one traveler says he chose to drive in the opposite direction on game day.

FSU fan Dane Clare opted to drive to Jacksonville to watch the game with his father on TV.

Clare says, "The traffic seems to get worse and worse as the years go by. That's why I try to stay away from it these days. But, there's nothing like the atmosphere of a live football game. Sometimes it's worth fighting the traffic."

Reports show the Seminoles learned that all of their 15,900 tickets to the bowl sold out in 48 hours. The sales were going so well that the school - which was originally allotted 13,500 tickets - was given an additional 2,400 tickets before the sellout was made official.


Tallahassee, Florida - December 29, 2011 -

While the tailgating has already started for some, many drivers are still hitting the road for the big game. They want to see Florida State take on Notre Dame.

The Champs Sports Bowl is tonight at 5:30pm. So, on top of your regular holiday traffic, sports fans will also be in the mix on the road. The Florida Department of Transportation reminds travelers heading to and from the game to be safe.

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) reminds travelers heading to and from Florida’s bowl games to check traffic before heading out by calling 511, visiting or downloading the new 511 app on iTunes. FDOT’s 511 Traveler Information System updates travelers on crashes, congestion and construction on all of Florida’s interstates, toll roads and major metropolitan roadways.  Callers can also use 511 for free phone transfers to Florida’s airports, seaports and neighboring 511 systems in Georgia and Louisiana.

Florida is hosting the following bowl games:

·        Champs Sports Bowl, Orlando, Dec. 29, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.

·        Capital One Bowl, Orlando, Jan. 2, 2012 at 1 p.m.

· Gator Bowl, Jacksonville, Jan. 2, 2012 at 1 p.m.

·        Outback Bowl, Tampa, Jan. 2, 2012 at 1 p.m.

·        Discover Orange Bowl, Miami, Jan. 4, 2012 at 8:30 p.m.


The Florida 511 app is the newest addition to FDOT’s suite of resources for traffic information. The app features the same traffic and travel time information as the phone system and website. The free 511 app uses the iPhone’s GPS tracking to provide users with traffic information within miles of their location. Users can even view traffic cameras associated with crashes on their iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch with the 511 app.

Florida travelers can register for My Florida 511 personalized services to hear and receive custom traffic alerts from FDOT on any cell phone or landline. Users can visit to register their route to hear traffic and travel time information on those routes first when calling 511. Travelers can also register to receive traffic alerts via e-mail, text and/or phone call. My Florida 511 users can customize alerts based on time of day, day of the week and severity of incident.


Safety Tips

  • Call 511 before driving, at a rest area or have a passenger call to avoid talking while driving

  • Customize your trip at before leaving to minimize time spent on the phone

  • Always wear a safety belt

  • Don’t drink and drive

Florida 511 Features

  • Traffic information on all interstate highways, toll roads and many other metropolitan roadways

  • Commuter travel times and reports on crashes, lane closures, construction and severe weather affecting travel

  • Public transit, airport and seaport information

  • AMBER, Silver and LEO alerts (Silver Alerts notify the public when law enforcement agencies are searching for missing adults or citizens with cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Alerts notify the public when law enforcement officers are searching for an offender(s) who has seriously injured or killed a law enforcement officer.)

  • provides travel information, traffic camera views and free personalized services, including customized travel routes and e-mail, text and phone call alerts

  • Voice-activated and touch-tone navigation available

  • The 511 phone call and website are available in English and Spanish

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