Streets in downtown Fort Worth will be closed during “Super Week,” a string of planned events from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6 leading up to Super Bowl XLV.
According to information on Fort Worth’s official website, sections of 4th, 12th, 14th and 15th streets will be temporarily closed, as well as parts of Houston Street and Main Street.
Sagar Bathija, a senior finance and accounting major, works downtown at Q Investments. The street closures near his workplace will make his commute to work more stressful, he said.
“[The closure] definitely does have an impact. It might make it more inconvenient,” Bathija said. “I guess it’s worth it because you do have the Super Bowl in your own city. It’s a sacrifice you have to make.”
Bathija said the inconvenience was lessened because he only worked two days a week.
“It doesn’t really affect me that much,” he said. “If I did come every day of the week, I guess it would be annoying.”
Wesley Cooper, a junior communications major, said parking may be an issue for visitors to the downtown area.
“A lot of people downtown do rely on public parking,” Cooper said. “We don’t have a huge influx of people coming in from 8 to 5. You can always find a spot downtown, but with the extra…people that would be here, that’s going to be an issue.”
Cooper works downtown a few blocks from Sundance Square, but said his workplace already had a procedure set up to deal with the closure.
According to a press release from the City of Fort Worth, heavy traffic is expected around TCU as well as the Stockyards and the Cultural District. The release urged drivers and pedestrians to use caution when attending “Super Week” events or traveling in the downtown area.
Andra Bennett, senior director of communications at Fort Worth’s Chamber of Commerce, said the closures should not present too much of a problem for traffic.
“There’s been a lot of planning that’s gone into the rerouting of the streets,” she said.
“I think people are saying, “Oh, I’m just going to avoid downtown because it’s just going to be a madhouse.’ And the fact is, it’s not,” Bennett said. “It’s going to be fun, and it’s going to be crowded. And there’s going to be a lot of energy downtown, but the police, and the businesses and Sundance Square have made all the preparations necessary for somebody to have a great time down here.”
Bennett said that although some streets will be closed for cars, they would still be open to pedestrians to walk around in the downtown area.
“We want people walking around down there, and the businesses want that foot traffic. They’re all counting on that,” she said. “The retailers are anticipating…thousands of people downtown looking for souvenirs from their stay.”
Yesenia Perez, a manager at the Mi Cocina restaurant on Main Street, said she was optimistic despite being on the part of the street scheduled for closure.
“I believe we will have more customers, or [an] equal amount of the same business we’ve always had,” she said. “It’s not going to be a regular customer that usually comes in for business, it’s just people staying in downtown Fort Worth.”
Perez also said that Mi Cocina would open earlier for breakfast in order to accommodate the extra visitors staying in the downtown area.
Darlin Inkelaar, the manager of the fashion retailer Retro Cowboy, echoed Perez’s confidence.
“We’re not too worried about the street closures, to be honest,” she said. “There’s going to be 150,000 people down here. They’re going to find a way to get down here.”
Inkelaar said that although the closures may pose a problem for her and her employees getting to work, everyone was planning ahead to make sure they could get to the store.
“It’s going to be a hassle,” she said. “People are aware. They know, everybody’s going to carpool. All our employees are going to get dropped off or kind of work together.”
Ultimately, Inkelaar said the street closures were not going to deter the store from its objective.
“The plan is to be open and make some money,” she said.
For more information on “Super Week” transportation options and events, as well as maps of the streets to be closed, visit fortworthgov.org/superweek