Chapel Hill Transit bus waiting for passengers at the Southern Village lot
One of Chapel Hill Transit shiny new electric buses

On July 19th, 50,000 people are expected to arrive in Chapel Hill for a historic soccer match between Wrexham AFC, the Welsh Soccer club owned by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, and Chelsea FC, English Premier League team. The teams will be playing at Kenan Stadium, and many fans from around the world are going to be descending on Franklin Street and the UNC campus to attend the match.

We’re a civics blog with very little knowledge of international soccer, but we do know (and cover) public transportation. Match traffic is expected to be heavy from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Update 7/18 Tar Heel Express tickets for the Wrexham – Chelsea match are SOLD OUT

Tar Heel Express tickets for the Wrexham - Chelsea match are SOLD OUT

Our advice? Take the Tar Heel Express to the game.

Parking in and around Kenan Stadium on (the other) football game days is tight and expensive. It’s in the middle of a college campus. Many fans in Chapel Hill elect to take the Tar Heel Express, a shuttle bus run by Chapel Hill Transit.

What is the Tar Heel Express?

The Tar Heel Express is a shuttle bus operated by Chapel Hill Transit that operates during special events for the Town of Chapel Hill, and for events at UNC’s Kenan Stadium and the Dean Smith Center. It will be running for the Chelsea versus Wrexham FC game.

When does the shuttle start?

The Tar Heel Express will start running on 5:30pm on July 19 and run until 45 minutes after the game. Buses are expected to depart every 10-15 minutes.

Where can I pick it up?

The busses start from the following locations

The pre-match drop-off and post-match pick-up location is along South Road in front of Carmichael Arena and Woollen Gym.

Do I have to pay in advance?

Tar Heel Express boarding passes are available on the Carolina Athletics website. No boarding passes are available for sale at park and ride locations on match day. Get your pass ahead of the game, we made this step by step guide to make it good proof

Is there a bag policy at Kenan Stadium

There sure is! Take a good luck at the UNC Clear Bag Policy so you are not disappointed at the gate 

Will this make my life easier?

The folks at Chapel Hill Transit are seasoned veterans for high-traffic, high-profile events. take the stress out of getting to the pitch. Plus, if you choose to park in Southern Village – it’s free – you have a variety of great food and drink choices, just a short walk away from the shuttle lot.


For food, you have

For quicker, and less expensive food options, there is

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John Rees lives in Chapel Hill. His day job is an enterprise architect for a big IT company. He was, until very recently, a member of the Chapel Hill Planning Commission and former chair. He serves on...