March Madness Traffic in Dallas, Texas

March Madness Dallas: Traffic Tips and Road Closures

March Madness Traffic in Dallas, Texas

March Madness draws in millions of basketball fans nationwide each year. It’s one of the most anticipated and watched sports events. However, along with the excitement comes increased traffic congestion and road closures, especially around the arenas hosting the NCAA tournament games.

The round of 64 games started on Thursday, March 21. If you are driving to the American Airlines Center to see March Madness live in Dallas, it’s important to know the best routes to avoid traffic. Read on for traffic tips and insights into road closures that can help you stay ahead of the game.


South Regional NCAA Tournament

The NCAA Men’s Final Four South Regional Preliminaries are on March 29 and 31The American Airlines Center will play host to the South Regional round of the 2024 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship. Two of the Regional Semifinals and one of the Elite Eight games will be played at the American Airlines Center. 

The Big 12 Conference will host the South Regional round of the NCAA Tournament. The South Regional will feature top seeds including the Houston Cougars, Marquette Golden Eagles, Duke Blue Devils, and Kentucky Wildcats. Houston is currently the top seed in the regional and the No. 2 seed overall in the tournament. For the second year in a row, Marquette is a No. 2 seed. Kentucky is the No. 3 seed and Duke is the No. 4 seed.


March Madness at the American Airlines Center

american airlines center in dallas, texas

March Madness returns to Dallas at the American Airlines Center! This will be the first time North Texas will host a men’s basketball regional since 2013. Dallas joins Boston, Los Angeles, and Detroit as host cities for the 2024 regionals. It will also be the first time for the area to be awarded a men’s regional, outside of a Final Four bid.

The American Airlines Center is located near the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Klyde Warren Park, just 9 minutes in walking distance from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum. During March Madness, be prepared for potential delays around the venue. If you’re driving to the stadium, allow extra time for navigating through congestion and finding parking.


March Madness Traffic in Dallas

An influx of basketball fans and ongoing highway construction could make navigating North Texas roads tricky during March Madness. With thousands of fans flocking to catch the games at the American Airlines Center and viewing parties, expect increased congestion on major roads and highways.

It’s best to plan your routes in advance and use navigation apps for real-time updates such as Texas Traveler. This app provides users with real-time traffic information throughout the state.

Alternative routes fans can utilize to get to the American Airlines Center include:

  • Northbound on I-35: Exit Continental to get to either Victory Avenue or North Houston Street.
  • Southbound on I-35: You can exit on Medical District.
  • Dallas North Tollway: You can take the toll road to Harry Hines and turn right on Payne Street to get to North Houston Street.
  • Woodall Rodgers Freeway: Exit Field Street onto Olive Street. Then, turn left onto either Houston Street or Victory Avenue.

Plan for Alternative Transportation

With the surge in traffic during March Madness, consider alternative modes of transportation to minimize congestion. Ridesharing services, such as Uber or Lyft, allow you to avoid the hassle of parking and navigating through traffic. Guests who use Uber and other rideshare services can utilize the designated Uber Pickup/Dropoff Areas located on All-Star Way and Nowitzki Way.

Additionally, you can use the following public transportation options to get to the American Airlines Center:

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

Dallas Area Rapid Transit provides regular service to Victory Station at American Airlines Center through the Green Line and Orange Line. Both lines operate to Victory Station 7 days a week.

If you ride a Red Line or Blue Line train, you may need to ride to the West End Station, and then transfer to a Green Line or Orange Line train.

Trinity Railway Express (TRE)

You can also take the Trinity Railway Express to Victory Station, next to American Airlines Center. The trains service Victory Station 6 days a week, as there is no scheduled service on Sundays.

Bus Route 49

DART Bus Route 49 provides service to the American Airlines Center 7 days a week.


Parking at the American Airlines Center

There are over 5,000 parking spaces available at the venue. Most of these parking spaces are within 2 blocks of American Airlines Center. The parking lots will open 2 hours before the start of the South Region NCAA Tournament and remain open until 2 hours after the event.


Road Closures

Keep an eye out for road closure notices and plan alternate routes accordingly. You can refer to the closures listed on the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) website for up-to-date information on Dallas traffic.

Short-term closures

  • Continuous, temporary closure of the westbound I-635 exit to Plano Road (Exit 14).
  • Continuous, temporary closure of the westbound I-635 entrance at Walnut Hil Lane/Kingsley Road.
  • Various lanes along both directions of I-635 between U.S. 75 and I-30 (anytime between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next day).

Long-term closures

  • Eastbound I-635 exit to Royal Lane/Miller Road (Exit 15).


March Madness Winning Picks: Traffic Safety Tips

Wilson NCAA basketball

1. Obey Traffic Signals and Signs

Pay close attention to traffic signals and adhere to posted speed limits. Ignoring or disobeying traffic regulations can result in car accidents, traffic citations, and fines.

2. Maintain a Safe Following Distance

Given the increased congestion on the roads, it’s crucial to maintain a safe following distance between your vehicle and other vehicles. This allows ample time to react to sudden stops or slowdowns, reducing the risk of rear-end collisions. It’s best to keep at least a three-second gap between your vehicle and the one in front of you. In adverse weather conditions or heavy traffic, ensure you increase this distance.

3. Exercise Caution in Pedestrian Areas

Dallas sees a significant influx of pedestrians, especially around popular tourist destinations and event venues like the American Airlines Center. Exercise extra caution when driving through pedestrian-heavy areas, including the downtown districts. Be vigilant for pedestrians crossing the street, adhere to crosswalk signals, and yield the right-of-way.

4. Avoid Distractions While Driving

Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents in the United States. In 2021, 3,522 people were killed in accidents involving a distracted driver. Stay focused and avoid distractions behind the wheel. Distractions driving can include texting, calling, browsing social media, streaming on your phone, eating or drinking, using GPS, or conversing with a passenger.

If using your phone is tempting, it’s best to put your cell phone in do-not-disturb mode and put it away. If necessary, designate a passenger to handle navigation and choosing the playlist.

5. Designate a Sober Driver

If you plan to drink during the March Madness festivities, designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only illegal but also significantly increases the risk of accidents and serious injuries. On average, one person is killed every 39 minutes in a crash involving a drunk driver. In 2021, 13,384 people died in drunk-driving crashes.


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