City of Asheville announces transportation updates for Southern Conference Basketball Tournament

The full release from the City of Asheville:

ASHEVILLE – The Southern Conference (SoCon) is returning to Asheville this weekend for its championship games at the ExploreAsheville.com Arena in the Asheville 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:

10 a.m. on Friday, March 2 through midnight on Saturday, March 3

10 a.m. on Sunday, March 4 through midnight

4 p.m. on Monday, March 5 through midnight

Flint Street between Haywood Street and Cherry Street (including the I-240 bridge) will be closed 10 a.m. Friday, March 2 through midnight on Saturday, March 3.

Public transportation is an efficient resource for travel during events expected to draw large crowds. Asheville Transit will service all routes with a few small detours related to scheduled street closures:

Route 11- Montford Ave. – Friday, March 2, 10 a.m. through last run on Saturday, March 3. – no service on Flint Street or Cherry Street. Buses will use Haywood Street inbound and outbound to connect with Montford Avenue.

Route 18 – AB-Tech/ UNC Asheville – Friday, March 2, 10 a.m. through last run on Saturday, March 3. – no service on Flint Street, Chestnut Street, or Magnolia Avenue. Buses will run from College Street to Lexington Avenue/Broadway Street to Mt. Clare Avenue. After serving UNC- Asheville, Route 18 will return to the Transit Center on Lexington Avenue/Broadway Street to College Street.

Route 51- Montford Ave. – Friday, March 2, – last run on Monday, March 5 – no service Flint Street or Cherry Street. Buses will use Haywood Street inbound and outbound to connect with Montford Avenue.

Bus-stops on Flint Street, Cherry Street, Chestnut Street and Magnolia Avenue will be not be served during the above noted times.

The parking lots on Cherry Street between Flint and Cumberland and Lot 17 next to the AT&T building will be closed during the event to accommodate event participants.

Special event parking will be in effect for the Civic Center, Rankin Avenue and Wall Street parking garages from 10 a.m. through 9 p.m. Friday, March 2 through Sunday, March 4, and 2 – 9:30 p.m. Monday, March 5. The special event rate for all days will be $5.

During the Championship event, the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission and the City of Asheville will co-sponsor the SoCon Fan Fest Village located in the vacant lot at the corner of Page and Haywood directly across from the U.S. Cellular Center. Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, the festival village will have a small number of exhibitors, food vendors, and promotional vehicles from local radio stations.

Follow this link to the SoCon Basketball Championships web site for more information on game times, tickets and travel to Asheville: http://www.ashevillesocon.com .

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

For more information regarding bus routes, visit www.ashevilletransit.com, call 253-5691 or email iride@ashevillenc.gov. For information about the Asheville Civic Center, visit http://www.ashevillenc.gov/departments/civic_center/


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