Traffic is typically a headache for South Florida commuters, but it was especially bad for fans trying to get to the second day of the Guinness International Champions Cup at Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday.
The stadium is closer to the Florida Turnpike, but Interstate 95 was the main culprit for drivers as it was jammed during rush hour into the evening. And an accident at about 9 p.m. on Ives Dairy Road and Northeast 22nd Avenue backed up traffic from that intersection and onto I-95 all the way to Northwest 125th Street, the FHP said.
It made it tough for the latecomers, but many of the fans who arrived before the Real Madrid and Chelsea championship game were making a mad dash to get inside. Javier Uribe said avoiding I-95 worked out well for him.
“Traffic was crazy,” said Uribe, who added that it took him only about an hour to arrive from Downtown Miami on the Palmetto Expressway.
Commuters such as Frank Mackle, who arrived in time for the first match between the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS and Serie A’s A.C. Milan, felt the full effect of the slowdown, as his trip from Coral Gables took about two hours.
“It was like a parking lot. We almost could have walked there quicker,” said Mackle, adding that things cleared up a bit at the Golden Glades Interchange.
Fans who came from Broward County also seemed to be able to avoid the worst of the traffic woes. Jeremy Drumm, from Pembroke Pines, said it was about a 40-minute trip for him, but he still had to do some waiting.
“It was about 20 minutes just waiting to get in the gate,” Drumm said.
Gizelle Cotton, who came from Hallandale, said that the trip was kind of slow but also said it took about 15 to 20 minutes just waiting in a line of vehicles outside the stadium.
The commute was even difficult for Chelsea’s charter bus, which arrived less than an hour before the championship match was scheduled to begin.
The team made it in time for the game, as did many fans, but both international and local soccer fans dealt with the sluggish highways that South Floridians know very well.