Donald Trump’s arrival Monday’s national championship game caused a major headache for fans.
At least one of the four entrance gates to Mercedes Benz Stadium was closed due to Secret Service activity, leaving thousands of fans waiting outside in a cold rain and standing in long lines. The stadium said on Twitter that Gate 1 was closed and “Gates 2, 3 and 4 are the best options for entry.” According to the Los Angeles Times, though, “[n]umerous gates away from the restricted area were also closed without explanation as crowds pushed up to the turnstiles.”
Trump was scheduled to arrive at the stadium at around 6:45 p.m. and the motorcade pulled in right on time, at which point Gate 1 was re-opened.
But the congestion issues remained after the gate was opened, with photos from the scene showing long lines persisting nearly 45 minutes after all gates were opened. Some fans reported being stuck in line for at least 90 minutes.
As kickoff neared, the abundance of empty seats was obvious on ESPN’s pre-game coverage.
The stadium announced about two minutes before the coin toss that all fans were inside.