Exit Plan Strategery for the Nissan Pavilion (VA/DC)
May 4, 2009 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Help me if you know anything about Nissan Pavilion in Northern Va! Are the traffic problems still as bad as they used to be? If so, does anybody have any tips?

Hey all, am going to see one of my favorite bands later this month and am terrifically excited! However, as the concert is on a weekday, and I haven't been to the Nissan Pavilion in years, it's hard to imagine being able to deal in stride if, after the concert, we're obliged to submit to one of the Pavilion's legendary three-hour parking lot 2 mph waits. So, I was wondering if anyone had been to a big show recently (say, in the past year) at Nissan Pavilion and could attest as to whether it was still as bad as it used to be. Have they built those new lanes on 66 yet? And - this might sound crazy - but would it be possible to park somewhere a mile or so away, and then bike to the venue? Any and all recent experiences would be helpful!
posted by actionPetential to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
Best answer: I went to see Radiohead there in May 2008. We arrived around 6pm and didn't have any trouble locating a spot. However, due to rain one of the access roads got flooded out and everyone had to go one way out of the venue and it took us 1.5 hours to get to our hotel about three miles away. Even so, that time includes sitting in the car for half an hour.

All in all, I'd say that the traffic was on par with other major venues. You're going to be waiting a while...pack a snack and a deck of cards.
posted by Diskeater at 10:42 AM on May 4, 2009

hopefully Radiohead last year was an enormous fluke. It took me over an hour to get out of the parking lot. Didn't get home until about 2:45 after getting in my car at midnight (I only live about an a half hour away).

Then again, this was entirely during a torrential downpour, and it looked like part of the parking lot was flooded.
posted by azarbayejani at 10:47 AM on May 4, 2009

Best answer: I was going to mention Radiohead as well, but the issues were definitely in large part b/c of the rain. Also, it's not a good example, because that show was on a Sunday, and there was no rush hour traffic to deal with.

If I were you, I'd pose this question on one of the Washington Post's live chats:
-- Got Plans (Thursday @ 1)
-- Post Rock (not going on this week?)
-- Dr. Gridlock (going on right now)

I would also search the archives of those chats and their related blogs.
posted by inigo2 at 10:52 AM on May 4, 2009

I hate that place! Arriving is usually no big deal, but leaving at the end of a concert is enough to make me never go to another concert again. It's an awful venue for traffic! I don't think there have been any recent improvements.
posted by MorningPerson at 12:53 PM on May 4, 2009

Best answer: Appreciate all your help! Thanks!
posted by actionPetential at 2:02 PM on May 4, 2009

Looks like you found the Got Plans chat :)

For future readers, this is their response: "The Nissan Pavilion season starts this weekend, so it's hard to say for sure, maybe we'll get some reports from the field from some WMZQfest attendees. But it's hard to imagine things have gotten substantially better. Be ready to sit and wait. Or you can just leave a little early and beat the rush. The encore will always be the same (I assume we're talking about Coldplay here, and the setlists are easy to find on the Internet, won't do spoilers here) so you can always weigh how much you like those songs vs. time sitting in traffic. "

And followup comments:
Charter Member: of the "Sat Around in Traffic at Nissan Pavillion Instead of Seeing Radiohead" Facebook Group. Yeah, it's real bad, and I'll never go back. But if you must, look closely at maps around NP because I think there are some alternative routes that people don't think to use, and plan accordingly. And, if you get there early, it's less terrible.
David: Well the Radiohead fiasco was on another level because of the monsoon that hit that evening and pretty much any time Radiohead is supposed to play around here. But Nissan is as much mindset as anything. Don't go there expecting it to be easy in/easy out. That'll just lead to frustration. Know what you're dealing with, do a little research, sneak out a bit early if you can, park closer to the exit instead of closer to the entrance, etc. Going in already frustrated doesn't seem like the best way to approach things.

Fairfax: Yeah I was at Radiohead and the rain was horrible but thankfully I was in the "VIP" or whatever the upgraded parking section is called. Completely worth the $30 (?) to skip most of the traffic.

David: This is another option. On principle you just hate to spend all that extra money for something like parking. But if you consider you're already spending a few hundred dollars on tickets, beer, etc., that extra few bucks for peace of mind might be worth it. You might feel like you're losing a bit of your soul, but you might feel that way sitting in traffic on 66 at 12:30 two hours after the show is over.
posted by inigo2 at 12:53 PM on May 8, 2009

(Assuming it was Coldplay, let us know how it goes tonight!)
posted by inigo2 at 6:09 AM on May 21, 2009

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