Downtown Sacramento will be seriously congested Saturday. Here‘s what you need to know

If you‘re among the tens of thousands of people flocking downtown Saturday for one of several major events, show up early and expect detours and possible delays, city officials warn.

The largest event, the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California professional bicycle race, typically draws tens of thousands of fans and requires closing dozens of downtown blocks to traffic.

Thousands more will attend college graduation ceremonies: three Sacramento State commencements at the Golden 1 Center and a McGeorge Law School afternoon event at Memorial Auditorium.

The Northern California volleyball championships will take place Saturday at the Sacramento Convention Center, as will an afternoon show at the Sacramento Community Center Theater.


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“It‘s a busy, busy weekend,” said police spokesman Eddie Macaulay. “It‘s great so much is happening downtown, but the last thing we want is for people to get caught in a (mess).”

City officials say there is enough parking for those who choose to drive, but they are urging visitors to check for street closures ahead of time and to plan a route around them. They suggest reserving a garage parking spot in advance using the website and smartphone app.

Cycling race-related street closures will start Friday morning with barricades on L Street between 15th and 10th streets. Those closures will expand Saturday to include several east-west streets north and south of the Capitol as far east as 19th Street.

Macauley said people headed to Golden 1 Center, Memorial Auditorium, the convention center and the community center theater should consider taking 21st Street from the south or the J Street off-ramp from Interstate 5.

Sacramento State officials are advising students and families to build in extra travel time. Students are required to check in 90 minutes before the ceremony. Doors will open for families an hour before each ceremony. The university has published information at .

Sacramento Regional Transit trains and buses will be in operation but will be blocked or rerouted at times during the bike race. Riders can check for a list of detours.

The Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates group will provide free monitored corral parking for cyclists on the Capitol Park grounds near 10th and N streets.

The Tour of California will spend three days in the Sacramento region. In the men‘s race, riders arrive Thursday afternoon in . On Friday, they will leave Folsom and travel through downtown Placerville before finishing at Heavenly Valley in South Lake Tahoe.

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The Saturday men‘s race begins in downtown Sacramento on L Street near 11th Street at 10:15 a.m. Cyclists will cross the Tower Bridge for a loop through Yolo County, then will return to downtown via the Tower Bridge and make several circuits through downtown before finishing on L Street near 11th.

Estimated race finish time on Saturday is 1:40 p.m., though several streets near the Capitol are expected to be closed for hours after that.

The men will spend less time on downtown Sacramento streets than the women.

The final women‘s stage Saturday is a circuit race featuring 2.2-mile laps on the course around Capitol Park starting at 10:50 a.m. and ending around 12:42 p.m.

That is preceded by a first women‘s stage Thursday that will start and end in Elk Grove, with a big loop through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The second stage takes place Friday in the South Lake Tahoe area.