Alert: Weekend basketball tourney will tie up downtown Asheville streets


Here’s the press release. There’s a lot of detailed info here. Suffice it to say that, if you’re planning to be in downtown Asheville this weekend, be strategic about driving and parking.

The Southern Conference (SoCon) is returning to Asheville March 8-11, 2013 for its championship games at the U.S. Cellular Center and Kimmel Arena on the UNC Asheville campus. The event will include both men’s and women’s games and involve a total of 23 basketball teams from five southern states. It is estimated that approximately 15,000 people will attend the four day event.

To enhance pedestrian safety and accommodate the large volume of buses bringing teams, bands, and other participants to the arena, the turn lane immediately in front of the U.S. Cellular Center and Hiawassee Street from Flint to Rankin will be closed the following times:

Hiawassee Street:

Beginning on Thursday, March 7th, Hiawassee Street between Flint and Rankin will remain closed until Monday, March 11th at midnight.

Flint Street:

The turn lane immediately in front of the U.S. Cellular Center and Flint Street will be closed the following times:

· 10 a.m. – midnight on Friday, March 8

· 10 a.m. – midnight on Saturday, March 9

· 10 a.m. – midnight on Sunday, March 10

· 10 a.m. – midnight on Monday, March 11

Flint Street between Haywood Street and Cherry Street (including the I-240 Bridge) will be closed 10 a.m. Friday, March 8 through midnight on Saturday, March 9.

Haywood Street:

All on-street parking along Haywood Street from Walnut Street to Flint Street will be prohibited on Monday, March 11 – noon to midnight. The parking meters will be “bagged” informing citizens of the prohibited parking on Sunday, March 10. Violators will be subject to towing through the Asheville Police Department.
Haywood Street will be closed to all non-event traffic from Walnut Street to Flint Street on Monday, March 11 – 7:00 pm to midnight.
Special event parking will be in effect for the Civic Center, Rankin Avenue and Wall Street parking garages from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday March 10, and 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 11. The special event rate for all days will be $5.

In addition, 3 surface lots will be closed during the event to accommodate event participants: the lot on Cherry Street between Flint and Cumberland, Lot 17 next to the AT&T building and Lot 18 across from the US Cellular Center.

Patton Avenue from Pack Square to Haywood Street will experience rolling closures on Saturday, March 9, beginning at 10:45 a.m. and lasting approximately an hour, for the Downtown Dribble, a parade of approximately 500 kids and their parents, marching bands and volunteers ending at the U.S. Cellular Center. The parade will also create some traffic slow-downs along streets adjacent to the parade route area.

For more information on street closings and special event parking, please contact the city’s parking services division at (828) 259-5729.