CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - NBA All-Star Weekend is less than two weeks away and it is expected to bring tens of thousands of people to the Queen City.
City leaders say about 150,000 people are expected to come for the weekend, which means some major changes in traffic and congestion that local residents should be aware of.
Residents in Uptown say they are trying to figure out how to avoid traffic and live their normal lives during the event. One Uptown resident is going very far away to get away from all the congestion.
“Yeah it’s going to be super crowded so to avoid all of that I am actually going to Costa Rica," said Uptown resident Resha Chandek. "I’m going out of the country.”
Airports, trains and roads are expected to be extra congested during the Feb. 14-17 NBA All-Star Weekend due to the people coming in from out of town for the events.
Chandek’s family planned a trip out of the country before they knew the dates correlated with All-Star Weekend.
“But we found out last week and we are super thrilled we’ll beat all the traffic," said Chandek.
Traffic is expected to be backed up near the Spectrum Center, Convention Center, Bojangles Coliseum and Epicenter for events throughout the weekend.
Unless you must travel you are asked to avoid it.
“We’ll just stay home," said one Uptown resident.
The big event coming to some people’s backyard means they will be trying to steer clear of the crowds.
“Our plan is to avoid the thing as much as possible,” said another resident.
They will also have more complicated driving to deal with.
Roads around the Spectrum Center will close in an effort to manage the extra 150,000 people that are expected in Queen City.
“The best plan in the world is not going to stop some of the congestion that we are anticipating in Charlotte," said one city leader at an NBA All-Star press conference.
E-scooters and bicycles will also not be allowed in areas around the Spectrum Center for the weekend because of the high pedestrian traffic expected.
“I think with all the road closures and no bikes and scooters," said Chandek. "I think there would be a lot more foot traffic or tourists or NBA fans walking around.”