ARLINGTON -- Today promises to be a day of revelry in Arlington.
The Texas Rangers will open the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers at Rangers Ballpark. Meanwhile, next door at Cowboys Stadium, pop/country star Taylor Swift will belt out hits such as You Belong With Me.
But with around 100,000 people collectively expected to attend the baseball game and concert, and a major freeway closure planned at Texas 360 and Division Street, the confluence of events will test motorists' patience.
"Fans are encouraged to pre-plan their routes, arrive early, follow the directions of officers working the intersections and be patient," said Arlington police spokeswoman Tiara Ellis Richard.
Arlington officials say it's a challenge they can manage.
Both the game and the concert are scheduled to begin at roughly 7 p.m., but many baseball fans will likely arrive early to tailgate, which will ease the pressure of traffic on surrounding roads.
Also, many concertgoers will be dropped off and won't need a parking space. Police have designated drop-off points at Cowboys Way and Collins Street, and near the stadium walkways from Randol Mill Road and Cowboys Way.
After the concert a temporary pick-up area will be in Lot 11 at Sanford and Collins streets.
As for the freeway closure, contractors working for the Texas Department of Transportation on Friday night were expected to close the main lanes of Texas 360 at 8 p.m. near Division Street, and keep them closed until no later than 3 p.m. today.
The closure is needed so workers can hang beams for a new Division Street bridge.
State officials are optimistic that the work can get done quickly -- perhaps a couple of hours early -- and they'll keep motorists up to date using electronic message boards along the highways.
"Our hope is to be off the road before 3," department spokeswoman Holly Hughes said. "They think they'll be off the road closer to the lunch hour."
Detours will be posted. Northbound traffic will exit at Abram Street and divert to Great Southwest Parkway. Southbound traffic will exit at Division Street, to Stadium Drive.
It's part of a $56 million project that includes construction of a new Division Street/Texas 360 interchange, Union Pacific Railroad bridge, continuous frontage roads and improved freeway ramps. Completion is expected by summer.
Other traffic tips:
Rangers fans can find parking information at www.texasrangers.com/directions.
Concertgoers can find directions to and from Cowboys Stadium at www.dallascowboysmaps.com.
Ballpark lots open at 2 p.m., and Cowboys Stadium lots open at 4 p.m.
Follow the directions of traffic officers. You may be routed in a direction that seems counter-intuitive, but it's usually the quickest way to your spot.
Arlington police will post regular traffic updates on Twitter at @ArlingtonPD.
Gordon Dickson, 817-390-7796