Headed to Toyota Stadium? These tips will help ensure you're seated before the event starts.

4 tips for a timely Toyota Stadium arrival

March is a pretty special time of year. As the old saying goes, the month typically comes in like a lion, but leaves like a lamb thanks to the shift in seasons – a most welcome development for snowbound New Englanders and Midwestern residents.

In Texas, though, where snow isn’t much of an issue, spring’s entrance signals a fresh start and the promise of what could be a championship season for soccer followers in general and FC Dallas enthusiasts in particular.

March 7 was the home opener for FC Dallas, facing off against the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 p.m. Tickets were sold out and a capacity crowd was on hand, packing Toyota Stadium to the brim. The multipurpose facility opened in 2005, and for the past nine years, it’s hosted more than 1 million visitors annually.

If you were lucky enough to have tickets, you had a real treat, with the home team edging out a victory 1-0. It may have not started out that way, however. That’s because despite the facility being conveniently located at the intersection of Main Street and Dallas North Tollway, you likely experienced traffic delays. It’s easy to understand why, given that Texas has been the most in-bound state every year for the past decade, according to moving company Allied Van Lines.

Gates open at Toyota Stadium typically 90 minutes prior to match time, so keep this in mind when you’re planning out your travel schedule. The following tips should enable you to be in your seat with your refreshments and ready to start cheering as soon as the players take to the pitch.

Leave home early

Fortunately, home games are often on the weekends, so rush hour traffic shouldn’t be too much of an issue. At the same time, though, because most people get their weekends off, congestion is likely to be high. If at all possible, leave for Toyota Stadium several hours before the kick off. This goes for other times of the year as well. Gates for most events open 90 minutes prior to their beginning and parking lots two and a half hours for FC Dallas matches.

Know what the traffic is like

Traffic can be unpredictable. Congestion can bring the flow of cars to a crawl, made worse when there are road crews. You can keep tabs on what’s happening with Texas Highways. Just visit DriveTexas.org for up-to-the-minute traffic alerts on what’s happening at area roads.

Limit what you take into stadium

There’s a pretty strict security policy at Toyota Stadium. All entrants are searched for items that are prohibited from entering the facility. Banned products include laser pointers, umbrellas, inflated soccer balls, and outside bottles of any kind. Cameras are permitted for FC Dallas matches. Try to limit how much you take into the stadium to keep the security check line moving.

Prepare in advance

Only you know how long it will take you to get ready for an outing. Whether you’re attending the home opener or another game later this season, make out a list of everything that needs to be done so that you won’t have to worry about it when it comes to time to leave.

Win or lose – but most preferably an FC Dallas ‘W’ – these tips will help ensure you have a good time, on time.