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Joe Louis Arena is hosting back-to-back Garth Brooks concerts Saturday night, which could put a strain on downtown parking and traffic flows.

Venue officials have plans in place to ensure things run as smoothly as possible, as the 7 p.m. show empties out and the 10:30 concert fills up.

Cobo Center will be open beginning at 7 p.m., and its Hall E/ Michigan Hall area will act as a warming station and waiting area for those waiting for the 10:30 show. Admission is free, merchandise will be for sale and concertgoers will be pre-screened for admission to the later show.

As for parking, concertgoers are encouraged to park in the lots near Joe Louis Arena and in the Fox Theatre/ Comerica Park district. A free shuttle will run from Hockeytown Cafe, near the Fox Theatre, to Joe Louis. A parking garage is located next to Hockeytown. Surface lots are available around Comerica Park. (A map of suggested parking areas can be found at http://www.olympiaentertainment.com/Garth.)

Several other downtown bars, including Greektown’s The Old Shillelagh, are offering shuttle service to the concerts. In addition, Detroit’s People Mover is scheduled to run for an extra hour, until 3 a.m., after the concert on Saturday night.

Doors for the 7 p.m. concert are scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. Doors for the 10:30 concert are scheduled to open at 10 p.m., though venue officials warn there may be delays following the emptying of the venue after the 7 p.m. show.

Cameras with lenses longer than 80 mm will not be allowed into the show. Flash photography, video and audio recording are not allowed at the concerts. No tablets are allowed into the venue.

For those with paperless ticketing, the credit card used to purchase tickets is required for admittance and all members of the ticket buyer’s party is required to be present to enter the venue.

Brooks also performs back-to-back concerts at Joe Louis on Feb. 28, and will play single concerts at the Red Wings’ home on Friday and on Feb. 27.

The concerts mark Brooks’ first area shows since a run of five concerts at the Palace of Auburn Hills in 1996. The upcoming shows have sold more than 107,000 tickets, breaking the Palace run of 103,458 tickets sold, according to the superstar’s camp.

Tickets for the shows, $66, are available through Ticketmaster.

agraham@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/grahamorama

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