For the first time in nearly 30 years, Charlotte’s hosting the NBA All-Star Game. The event, which will last four days from Friday to Monday (Feb. 14 to Feb. 17) and is expected to have a $100 million economic impact on the city, is set to take over uptown. With more than 150,000 expected visitors and numerous parties, Charlotteans will undoubtedly feel the game’s presence as they try to navigate their weekends.
Here’s what you need to know to either avoid or participate in the All-Star festivities:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has announced that it will close five schools located near uptown early on Friday, “in order to help ensure safe transportation for students and staff” on the first day of the All-Star Weekend. The following schools will dismiss early at 12:15 p.m.:
- Chantilly Montessori School
- Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School
- First Ward Elementary School
- Irwin Academic Center
- Metro School
With game-goers filing into town this week increasing pedestrian traffic uptown, the city has planned road closures well before the All-Star game kicks off in earnest. The following roads around Spectrum Arena will be closed starting Thursday night:
- Caldwell Street and Brevard Street between 4th Street and 6th Street
- East Trade Street and East 5th Street between College Street and North Davidson Street
Public Transportation Closures and Information:
Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, the Charlotte Area Transit System’s Lynx Blue Line is taking extra security measures. Lynx riders are not allowed to bring purses, backpacks, suitcases and large tote bags on the train or station platforms. CATS said it will stop at stations along the Blue Line before reaching the arena. All passengers will be required to get off the train and CATS will then conduct a security sweep of each train car before allowing riders to re-board.
The CTC/Arena Lynx Blue Line station, which is adjacent to the arena, will be closed all weekend.
CATS also said it will not be running service on the Gold Line streetcar Friday through Monday.
The city’s main bus station across from the arena will be closed. Buses will instead pick up passengers at a surface parking lot across the street from the 7th Street light-rail station.
Electric scooters and bicycles will not be allowed to pass through streets around the Spectrum Center.
Official NBA-sponsored events will take place all weekend. For a calendar of games, events and the television stations carrying them live, click here.
For those looking for All-Star gear, there will be various stores popping up near official All-Star events. You can find pop-up stores at Spectrum Center, the Epicentre and Bojangles’ Coliseum.
The Mint Museum is closing its galleries to the public from Wednesday to Sunday to host the Nike and Jordan Brand pop-up shop.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said road closures around the Spectrum Center would begin Wednesday night. Road closures will actually begin Thursday night, Feb. 14.