GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Garth Brooks concerts begin Thursday night in Grand Rapids and the city and the Van Andel Arena have information if you plan on being in downtown Grand Rapids either for the shows or for any other reason this weekend.
Garth Brooks is performing Thursday evening, twice on Friday night, twice on Saturday night and once on Sunday night at the Van Andel Arena. About 13,000 people are expected at each show, according to the city parking department.
Arena personnel say that everyone is encouraged to arrive as early as possible. They say there isn't an opening act to Brooks' concert, so you'll want to arrive early enough to allow for traffic, parking and lines getting into the arena. Security will be performing bag checks, pat downs and wand searches at every entry point to the arena. No large bags or backpacks will be allowed. Small umbrellas that can fit under your seat are allowed. Small clutch-size bags are permitted, but may be searched.
From a traffic angle, Ottawa Avenue is closed between Weston Street and Oakes Street for the Arena Place construction. Fulton Street will be closed Friday and Saturday during the evening for a staging area for the 10:30pm shows.
Parking will be free at DASH West Lots (Area 7-9) and at Grand Valley State’s parking lots on Fulton and Winter. There will be continuous DASH shuttle bus service Friday and Saturday from 6:00pm until 3:00am. More buses will be added if necessary.
More Grand Rapids Police will be on hand directing traffic at key intersections. Streets will probably close periodically for pedestrians to get across major roads. More Grand Rapids parking services and GR Mobile staff will also be on hand and city-owned parking lots will have extended hours of operation. They advise that you consider parking in the first available spot you find and walk. You may not get closer and then will be stuck in traffic.