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Charlotte Area

Uptown Begins To Buzz With All-Star Fever

The Epicenter uptown is decked out for NBA All-Star events starting Friday.
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If you're anywhere near uptown Charlotte Friday, don't expect business — or traffic — as usual. It's buzzing with preparations for the NBA All-Star Weekend that begins Friday night.

Mobile generators were already humming Thursday around Spectrum Center, which is about to host three nights of basketball. Nearby parking lots are filled with satellite trucks, and the streets are crawling with people wearing security tags.

[Related Content: What You Need To Know About The NBA All-Star Weekend In Charlotte ]

City council member Braxton Winston is a camera operator at the arena and will be working all weekend. I ran into him as he grabbed lunch at Seventh Street Station, where he said this is just the calm before the storm.

"I don't think the people of Charlotte totally understand what's about to happen here. NBA All Star weekend is amazing. This one of the largest events that we'll ever host here in the city," he said.

Some streets and schools around uptown will be closed beginning Friday morning and the main bus station is temporarily moving away from the arena as an estimated 150,000 people swarm in. The arena seats only 20,000 people, so what will everyone else be doing?

They'll be at uptown restaurants and private parties, the Epicenter and at temporary big-brand shops popping up in storefronts. There's even one at the Mint Museum, which is hosting Nike and Charlotte Hornets' owner Michael Jordan.

Things kick off Friday night with celebrity and rising stars games. Three-point and slam-dunk competitions are scheduled Saturday, and the main event tips off Sunday at 8 p.m.

RELATED LINKS

NBA All-Star Weekend schedule, NBA.com

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