Traffic congestion spoils concert for some - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Traffic congestion spoils concert for some

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Sir Elton John performed Friday at Garrett Coliseum. Sir Elton John performed Friday at Garrett Coliseum.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It was one of Montgomery's most anticipated concerts in years. But getting there was a nightmare for some.

Sir Elton John performed Friday night at Garrett Coliseum. And while he was singing, there were still hundreds of fans waiting to get in. The streets around the coliseum were packed, which caused many concert goers to miss part of John's performance.

Montgomery police told WSFA 12 News that there were no traffic accidents in the area. They said the congestion was simply the result of the large numbers of people on the roads. More than 10,000 people had tickets for the concert.

The longest lines appeared to be at the corner of Coliseum Boulevard and Congressman Dickinson Drive. Some drivers said they waited in their cars for more than an hour to park.

"It's very disappointing," one fan told WSFA 12 News. "My wife has been wanting to see Elton John for years and we get this chance to go, and this!"

Other drivers said there weren't enough people collecting parking fees and not enough police directing traffic. But still others wondered if some fans should have arrived earlier.

WSFA 12 News contacted the Alabama Department of Agriculture, which owns Garrett Coliseum. Officials told us that the Kiwanis Club is responsible for parking at the facility. We were unable to get in touch with a club representative.

Friday's performance was seen by many as the beginning of a re-birth for the aging coliseum, but the traffic problems are now raising questions about the facility's ability to handle extremely large crowds.

Once his fans got inside the venue, Elton John did not disappoint. He sang more than twenty of his best-known hits like "Bennie and the Jets" and "Candle in the Wind."

The 8:00 p.m. concert started a few minutes late -- perhaps to accommodate the late-arriving crowds.

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