The city of Greenville sent a letter to area businesses late Wednesday detailing the potential for traffic and parking issues in and around downtown Friday.
In the letter the city said “we especially want to ensure that those living and working around the arena realize the scale of the event and are aware of potential issues that may arise during tournament hours.” The tournament will have four games Friday — 1:30 p.m., approximately 4 p.m., 7:20 p.m. and approximately 9:50 p.m.
“While a comprehensive parking plan has been developed, including several satellite parking locations with free shuttle service to and from the Wellness Arena, the potential for some individuals to seek out parking spaces in areas around the venue still exists,” the letter said. “As a result, on Friday, businesses near the arena with private parking lots may want to take measures to secure their lots.”
The city suggested that, because of the potential for high traffic during the first session Friday, “non-service industry businesses are asked to consider allowing their employees to work alternative schedules on Friday.” The letter also suggested that residents in surrounding neighborhoods “adjust their travel schedules, if possible, to ensure that they are not negatively impacted.”
Earlier this week, the NCAA indicated all sessions for the first and second rounds in Greenville were sold out — the first tournament site to be sold out in this year’s tournament — and city officials indicated the potential for up to 42,000 visitors in Greenville this weekend.
In addition to parking garages downtown, the city is operating its Downtown Trolley during the hours of the tournament along with a free shuttle service from Redemption Church on Haywood Road to the arena on Friday.