Thousands of Broadway fans visited Popejoy Hall this October to see Disney’s The Lion King. UNM Parking and Transportation Services (PATS) was responsible for making sure all visitors could park their vehicles and get to the show on time. With a total of 32 performances in just one month, this task proved to be challenging, but doable.

Parking is very limited on campus and to accommodate a large influx of vehicles, PATS provides park and ride shuttle service from the University’s G-Lot located at the corner of University Blvd. and Tucker Ave. Six buses per show, a total of 31 bus drivers and additional PATS personnel worked Thursdays through Sundays during the month of October.

In addition to the shuttle service, PATS also provided special event parking at the Cornell Parking Structure. This is a popular and convenient parking area due to its proximity to Popejoy Hall. For this reason, it was closely monitored by PATS staff to ensure visitors had access to safe and convenient parking.

“People were happy with the service. We closed-off the structure’s basement early to reserve those spaces for people displaying their handicapped placards,” says Brent Robare, PATS Special Events assistant.

Construction on and around the University constrained access to campus, forcing commuting visitors and shuttles to seek alternate routes which elongated travel time. For the duration of The Lion King, PATS compiled an event parking traffic control crew to ensure fast and safe access to the Cornell parking structure. The crew consisted of PATS student employees and experienced enforcement officers with traffic control training.

“We collaborated early on with Popejoy’s Public Events team to discuss strategies to inform and encourage patrons to take advantage of the park-and-ride service as a way to avoid the construction traffic around campus,” said PATS Event Planning Coordinator, Christine Evans.

The combined efforts and collaboration between PATS and the Popejoy team worked to provide easy access to New Mexico’s best-loved musical.  

PATS provides access to the University by maintaining parking lots and providing shuttles to transport students, faculty, staff and community members all around the University and its parking lots. Besides supporting the University’s academic mission, PATS is staffed, equipped, and organized to provide special event parking and park-and-ride shuttle services for events like home football games, on-campus events, and Popejoy productions.