Eminem and singer Rihanna perform onstage at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. on April 13 in Los Angeles. The start time for the concert is 7:30 p.m. Friday, exactly the same time as the Lions-Jaguars pre-season game at neighboring Ford Field. An estimated 100,000 spectators are expected to pour into The D for the two events. (Christopher Polk / Getty Images for MTV)
Tonight’s Monster Tour concert is almost guaranteed to produce monster traffic jams for fans streaming into downtown Detroit tonight and Saturday for the Eminem-Rihanna show at Comerica Park.
The start time for the concert is 7:30 p.m. Friday, exactly the same time as the Lions-Jaguars pre-season game at neighboring Ford Field. An estimated 100,000 spectators are expected to pour into The D for the two events.
Detroit is used to hosting big events, but drivers will need extra time and patience tonight and Saturday due to the closure Woodward between Adams and Grand Circus park and Campus Martius as part of the M-1 Rail project.
Additionally Woodward is down to one lane, north and south, between the Interstate 75 service drive and Adams.
According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, metro area freeways leading into the city will be open (with the exception of the closure of I-96 between Telegraph and Newburg roads), said spokeswoman Diane Cross.
“We’re not doing anything different than with other large events we normally handle,” Cross said.
“We recommend drivers refer to our dynamic message signs on the freeways, our MDOT Twitter account and to refer to our michigan.gov/drive website for up-to-date information.”
Detroit police will direct traffic in downtown Detroit and parking is basically wherever you can find it.
According to the Detroit Parking Department, all city operated municipal parking garages will be open.
All stations of the Detroit People Mover are open, with the exception of the Grand Circus Park station which has been closed since Aug. 16 for renovation. The Grand Circus Park station is the one most immediate to both Comerica Park and Ford Field.
The DPM is recommending that patrons for both Ford Field and Comerica Park exit at the Broadway Station.
A check with the National Weather Service at White Lake Township shows weather conditions for Friday night to be “iffy” with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms until about 10 p.m. Low temperatures are expected to be 65 to 69 degrees.
For Saturday night, the NWS said it will be partly cloudy with lows of 64 to 68 degrees.
Expected attendance at the shows is 45,000 per night, second only to last weekend’s One Direction blockbuster, which brought roughly 50,000 fans per night next door to Ford Field.
Expect Eminem and Rihanna to present career-spanning sets of 20 songs each, and to come together for about 10 songs, adding up to a massive set list of around 50 songs.
Hometown superstar Eminem hasn’t played Detroit since he linked up with Jay Z for back-to-back shows at Comerica Park in 2010, and his concert dates in the time since have been mostly festival appearances. In 2003, he headlined Ford Field with back-to-back concerts.
For Rihanna, who has performed shows at Joe Louis Arena, The Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Theatre, these mark the biggest Detroit shows of her career.
Detroit News reporter Adam Graham contributed to this story.