Update: (11:46 a.m.) City officials are expecting an additional 8,000 vehicles in the downtown area for the graduation ceremonies this afternoon and advise people traveling in and around downtown to plan for congestion.
The first ceremony is scheduled to conclude at 4:30 p.m., meaning afternoon traffic congestion on area highways and streets will likely begin earlier than normal.
Original Post: (9:28 a.m.) The University of Texas at San Antonio has passed another milestone as the student population has grown so much that commencement exercises are being moved to the Alamodome.
For years, students graduating from all of the UTSA colleges have walked the small stage at the UTSA Convocation Center.
University Communications Chief Joe Izbrand said that’s no longer an option:
"The fact is that UTSA has become a destination for students, not just from San Antonio but from all over Texas and the world. And we’ve grown so large that there is no other facility in San Antonio that will hold our commencement activities and the parents and family that want to be there other than the Alamodome,” Izbrand said.
Best of all, graduates can invite as many guests as they want, which means no more bargaining to get extra tickets.
"In the past, you used to have to barter and trade with friends to see if they weren’t going to use all their tickets - could you get the tickets so that your family members, your friends could all come. That’s not going to be the case when we hold commencement in the Alamodome," he said.
More than 40,000 guests are expected to turn out to see the 4,400 graduates walk the stage in the two graduation ceremonies on Monday.
Mayor Julián Castro will speak to the 2 p.m. graduates and UTSA alumna Nancy Kudla will address the second commencement at 7 p.m.