|Check Charlotte parking options during CIAA tournament week|
|Prices vary, but there are options|
|Published Friday, February 17, 2017 2:05 am|
CIAA fans are preparing for their own competition – the game of parking.
The tournament will begin on Feb. 21-22 at Bojangles’ Coliseum, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. The rest of the tournament is Feb. 23-25 at Spectrum Center, 333 E. Trade Street.
Parking at Bojangles’ is $8 per vehicle. The lots open two hours before the first game. The entrance is located off Briar Creek Road. Cash, credit, and debit cards are the accepted forms of payments.
Due to the amount of people who will be attending, spaces are limited. It is advised to get there early to secure a parking spot. If you do not want to park near the coliseum, there are other places to secure your vehicle.
CATS Lynx Blue Line stations will provide additional complementary parking and a shuttle service. Patrons will need to purchase Lynx Blue Line ticket in order to board the shuttle, which will depart across from the Epicenter in Uptown and disembark at the Convention Center Station, located on Third Street. According to Blue Line shuttle driver Karen Reese, there will be a shuttle every half hour.
“They are trying to have a shuttle running every 30 minutes,” she said. “There will be seats for the handicapped. However, they are very limited. I advise drivers to be looking for spots around uptown.”
Spectrum Center is in the heart of Uptown and traffic can be hectic, so be cautious where you park. Uptown Charlotte is full of parking areas, however, depending on where you park, it can be pricey. There are meters, parking decks, and parking lots ranging from free to $20.
First Ward is located east of Seventh Street and south of Caldwell. This is considered the “wonderland” of free parking. There are ample spots as well as parking meters. Most of the free street parking spots run along Caldwell, East 8th, E. 9th and throughout the Garden District.
Parking spots in Third Ward are very slim. Due to being the home of BB&T Ballpark and Bank of America Stadium, most of those spots come with a fee. There are a few streets with free parking in residential areas; however, most of those streets require a permit.
Fourth Ward is one of the most popular parking areas in Uptown. Located off North Poplar Road and two blocks from Tryon Street. Be advised the free spaces are two-hour parking only. Be aware that some events rescind free parking and will require a permit. If that is the case, there will be signs reminding you throughout Uptown.
Event parking during the CIAA will be more expensive than the games. According to Devon Murray, strip clubs charge no less than $80 for spots.
“My friends and I tried to go to Club Onyx after one of the games and quickly turned around once they told us the price for parking,” he said. “They were talking about $60 for rear spots and $80 for front spots and that was just the early prices.”
Parking during club events usually range from $20 to $80. To avoid those prices, find a free secure spot for your vehicle and call a ride-sharing service.
There will be strict towing regulations. Parking is available in surrounding lots by the Charlotte Convention Center located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
For additional parking locations and to purchase parking passes, visit www.ciaatournament.org.
Tishawna Williams is a multimedia journalism major at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro.
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