Heading to Downtown Sacramento This Weekend? Better Plan Ahead

DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO -- The Amgen Tour of California should hold no surprises for the Sacramento Police Department when the final stage starts and ends in downtown Sacramento Saturday.

But this year, things may get a bit congested because the race isn’t the only game in town.

It seems like every town seeking the attention of would-be tourists or businesses compete for the Amgen Tour of California.

"Sixteen-million people will watch the Amgen Tour of California in Europe,"  said Mike Sophia with the Sacramento Sports Commission.

Click through for all local road closures during the Amgen Tour.

Sacramento seems to be a staple on the race route but this year the Saturday race won’t be the only event bringing visitors to downtown Sacramento.

The Promenade of Mermaids is a festive event held on Old Sacramento’s waterfront, which will add to the usual weekend crowds.

Three graduations will be held at the Golden 1 Center for Sacramento State students and families. University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law will hold its graduation at the Memorial Auditorium at about the same time.

Three-thousand people are expected for a major volleyball tournament at the convention center.

"Certainly, with the Amgen Tour of California it’s a bike race, it closes some streets. That will complicate things a bit," Sophia told FOX40.

There are concerns that it will complicate things for a lot of drivers if they don’t plan ahead for road closures that will block north and south traffic for a good portion of downtown.

But police say all the events are now reason to stay away and, of course, people attending the various events will have to be there one way or another. To be safe, authorities are saying head to your event an hour early along with taking all those precautions.

"Some of the different ways to get downtown are using regional transit. They have a free app you can download to pre-buy your tickets. There's the rideshare services, Uber, Lyft," said Sacramento Police Detective Eddie McCauley. "And then just planning ahead. There's plenty of parking downtown and just planning ahead using the Sac park app and reserving your space ahead of time."

Rebecca Sykes, who promotes the downtown sector, known as the grid, says past races and concerns over arena parking haven’t panned out.

"Doesn’t seem to be any issues with traffic," she said. "Golden 1 Center has worked out really well traffic wise and parking wise it turns out. So, yeah, it shouldn’t be a problem."

And let’s not forget, May is bike month, another way to go if you want to head downtown on Saturday.