Traffic snarled near Falcon Stadium on Feb. 15

Traffic backed up leaving the Falcon Stadium parking lot, photographed from the stadium’s press box, at 9:45 p.m., about 50 minutes after the NHL Stadium Series game ended.

Air Force decided the collection of parking fees didn’t outweigh the cost of traffic snarls.

Athletic director Nathan Pine announced Monday that the academy will eliminate the $10 cash parking fee for football games at Falcon Stadium, replacing it with a $3 surcharge on game tickets.

This comes as a solution to major traffic delays for fans entering the stadium for big events over the past 10 months.

“In response to fan feedback and through observations of queuing during Parent's Weekend and Army games last season and the NHL Stadium Series this winter, I'm pleased to share that we will be taking a major step to improve your game experience at Falcon Stadium this season,” Pine said in a message to “Falcon Nation” posted online Monday morning.

The hope is that the elimination of cash collection will expedite the parking process, freeing the lines of traffic that have spilled onto Interstate 25 and caused many fans to miss the start of the Army game and the first period or more of the Feb. 15 game between the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings.

Also, this will reduce “physical contact points” in the lots as the Falcons continue to plan for a football season potentially played without a cure or vaccine for the coronavirus.

Paid parking at Falcon Stadium was implemented prior to the 2014 football season.

The new $3 fee will be added to the price of football tickets. Season ticket holders who have already paid for parking for the 2020 season will be refunded the difference.

This step does not address the traffic outflow from the stadium, which will likely remain an issue as long as there are only two access points to the academy.

But entering the stadium, which tends to happen at a more staggered pace than exiting, figures to look much different.

“We believe this will significantly improve traffic flow and expedite travel into the parking lots,” Pine wrote, “so fans can enjoy more time tailgating, socializing and our Falcon Alley festivities.”

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