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Texas Rangers fans bolt early to avoid traffic

ARLINGTON -- Before the 7th-inning stretch, with the Texas Rangers down 6-0, a steady stream of fans started heading to their cars.

They left around 3:30 p.m. hoping to miss any traffic backups that could occur as motorists exit the ballpark.

Earlier in the day, parking lot attendants handed out fliers instructing motorists on the best way home from the parking lot, officials said.

Both main routes between the ballpark and major highways are complicated by construction. Some drivers could confront a confusing Convention Center Drive entrance ramp to I-30. Motorists parked in the lots north of the ballpark will probably follow Copeland Road, a long, winding street that eventually puts traffic onto Texas 360 and I-30.

Some fans will avoid the traffic by tailgating.

Tailgating

Al Sauceda, of Fort Worth, set up camp in parking lot N near Baird Farm Road. The Texas Christian University alumnus and his friends arrived at the lot about 7:30 a.m. for their 10th Rangers Opening Day. He said he learned to pick a parking spot with easy access to road in case of an emergency.

Sauceda said he and his friends typically tailgate two hours after the game. so they don't have to deal with the big rush of traffic trying to leave the ballpark. Before the game, he and about 15 friends were under a TCU eating fajitas and sausage.

Portable potty controversy

It's kind of like a turf war when it comes to private portable potties this year. Some Rangers fans who were tailgating rented private potties for $75 to $90 each from a national vendor who had them on a flatbed truck. The problem? People walked up to potties labeled "private," tried to use them and potty renters turned them away. People complained that it wasn't fair, and then looked for public potties.

At one point a controversy erupted over whether people renting potties could charge others to use them. The police stepped in and said "no." Before that, the going rate was $2 to $3 a use.

Of course, public portable potties that anyone can use are set up in each lot.

By noon, business was good. There were about 20 private potties in one lot. Last year, there was only a sprinkling of potties in the lots.

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