Palo Alto police are bracing for significant traffic delays this afternoon when a sellout crowd of 50,000 football fans arrives at Stanford Stadium for a highly anticipated game.
Kickoff is at 6 p.m., and campus traffic is expected to be heavy throughout the afternoon. Fans will start arriving in the morning and throughout the day, Stanford University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said.
The rare Thursday night game between the Stanford Cardinals and the Oregon Ducks pits two teams that are ranked in the Top 6 nationally against each other.
"We expect significantly heavier traffic than normal, and we urge (motorists) to avoid the Embarcadero Road / El Camino Real area if at all possible starting at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday," Palo Alto police said in an announcement.
Police expect heavy traffic along Embarcadero Road, El Camino Real, Sand Hill Road, Alpine Road and surrounding streets, which will be exacerbated by the end of the school day at Palo Alto High School and regular weekday commute traffic.
"If you're not going to the game, please do your very best to avoid the area. Every rerouted trip will help the overall flow of traffic that afternoon," police said.
Stanford administrators have also sent a campus-wide notice to students and faculty regarding the delays. Employees can leave at 4 p.m. if their supervisors give permission, according to the Stanford Report.
"All classes will be held as scheduled, including evening classes, unless the instructor has made prior alternative arrangements," the report noted.
Some instructors have decided to reschedule their Thursday evening classes due to the football game, they said.
Stanford Athletics has set up a web page with traffic and parking information for those attending the game.