JMU taking steps to ensure safety ahead of GameDay weekend

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 4:29 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 7:36 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - With ESPN’s College GameDay at James Madison University on Saturday, there is going to be a lot more traffic than usual in Harrisonburg on Friday and Saturday. JMU is taking steps to ensure safety during the busy weekend.

“Anytime we bring additional people onto campus we want to ensure the safety of everyone around. So our JMU Police Department has been working with local and state partners to increase the law enforcement presence but also working with fire and rescue personnel to ensure that everyone stays safe and that we have the additional resources needed for the weekend,” said JMU Spokesperson Mary-Hope Vass.

Drivers are encouraged to avoid Main Street in Harrisonburg if possible on Friday and Saturday because of the significant increase in traffic.

“We’re hoping that folks will use parking decks and some parking facilities that are off campus. So we would anticipate additional motorists but we are really anticipating additional foot traffic throughout campus that could also go into the downtown areas and the spaces surrounding campus so there will be extra thousands of people,” said Vass.

JMU is taking steps to try to limit the increase in traffic on the roads.

“There are going to be some additional transit opportunities for people to utilize from off-campus properties onto campus. So we just want to make sure that people are planning in advance and really thinking about how they’re getting to campus before coming,” said Vass.

According to JMU, the previous two times College GameDay came to Harrisonburg there were an estimated 12,000 people in attendance for the show in 2015 and 14,000 in attendance in 2017.

Vass said the local community should be aware of the increased congestion around campus on Friday and Saturday. The university hopes community members will come out and join in the day’s events.

“We’re really encouraging members of the community to come to the Quad on Saturday morning. We’re hoping to fill the Quad with lots of purple and gold so we certainly want to extend the invitation to members throughout the community to come and attend the events,” she said.

You can find information on Saturday’s events as well as parking options here.