Here's What Will Be Closed For NBA All-Star Game In Two Weeks
The last time Charlotte hosted the NBA All-Star Game was in 1991 at the Coliseum, and it was a relatively small affair. This year’s event will last four days, with events at the Charlotte Convention Center, Bojangles’ Coliseum, the Epicentre and of course the game itself, at the Spectrum Center.
But the larger scale of the event — the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority expects a $100 million economic impact — means residents will be impacted.
Starting at 5 p.m. on Feb. 15, the Charlotte Area Transit System’s Lynx Blue Line will stop at the stations before reaching the arena.
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All passengers will be required to get off the train, and CATS will then conduct a security sweep of each train car. After that, Lynx passengers can re-board the train – but CATS says purses, backpacks, suitcases and large tote bags will not be allowed on Lynx trains or station platforms. Small purses and backpacks will be allowed in the arena, however.
During those evening and late-night periods during All-Star Weekend, the station adjacent to the arena, the CTC/Arena station, will be closed.
The city will close parts of East Trade Street and East 5th Street near the arena.
CMPD deputy chief Johnny Jennings said officers will be routing cars away from the arena but he said, "the best plan in the world is not going to stop some of the congestion that we’re anticipating through Charlotte."
The city’s main bus station across from the arena will also be closed. Buses will instead pick up passengers at a surface parking lot across the street from the 7th Street light-rail station.
The Charlotte Hornets and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority held a news conference Thursday to discuss the closures, as well as the economic impact of the event.
"The NBA has created that potential for our businesses, small and large, for our entrepreneurs. And I’m sure you will see some of them out on the street," Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said. "They may not be legit all the time. But sometimes being non-legit, makes it just as exciting to participate in our economy. Did I say that?"
Charlotte was scheduled to host the All-Star Game in 2017. But the NBA pulled the game after the General Assembly passed House Bill 2, which removed new legal protections the city of Charlotte had given to the LGBT community.