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Traffic for NFL Games: How to Avoid the Traffic Rush and Arrive to the Stadium on Time

September 09, 2021 by Stephen Spiewak

NFL Traffic Times

When it comes to Sundays in the fall, crowds at the stadium are so much better than crowded highways.

Vivid Seats and INRIX, a leading provider of mobility insights, have teamed up to help fans arrive to NFL games on time as they head to home openers across the country.

With help from an interactive graphic, shown below, fans can plan their trip to the stadium with the following helpful traffic and parking information:

  • Average increase in travel time from five top departure cities per team
  • Departure time to avoid from those cities
  • The cheapest available parking at each NFL stadium

Below are some highlights from the traffic trends.

Busy Highways to See Super Bowl Champs

Unsurprisingly, fans are flocking to Raymond James Stadium this season, starting with the first game of the 2021 NFL season, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys. The defending Super Bowl champs have created quite a buzz across the Sunshine State.

Fans attending the game from St. Petersburg will encounter the heaviest traffic, a 111% spike over normal drive time, so should plan accordingly. INRIX data shows that 5 p.m. is the worst time to depart St. Petersburg.

Clear Roads in Sin City for Raiders Fans

Fans planning to drive to Allegiant Stadium to watch the Las Vegas Raiders host the Baltimore Ravens should have any easy drive, thanks in part to the unusual kickoff slot: 5:15 pm local time.

Those traveling from Sparks and Enterprise will enjoy especially quick trips, with roads shaping up to be favorite after lunch time.

Chiefs, Panthers Have Least Traffic

Despite all the excitement surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs and their bid for a third-straight Super Bowl appearance, it won’t take fans very long to get to Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs' fans will enjoy the least added time onto their commute, just ahead of the Carolina Panthers.

Other teams with favorable traffic outlooks include the Steelers, Browns and Jaguars.

General Traffic Tips

  • Sunday games typically have the least amount of traffic.
  • Leaving too soon for early games on Sunday can actually create a longer route, due in part to the tailgating rush and church traffic.
  • Thursday night games can see especially long travel times, due to the confluence of rush hour traffic with game travels.
  • Be mindful of other events taking place. For example, a Sunday night football game could kickoff around the same time as a concert, which could add to congestion on the roads.


Traffic insights based on INRIX analysis of traffic patterns for each NFL team’s first home game. Parking prices based on Vivid Seats data.

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