The CIAA Basket Ball Tournament 2006 in Charlotte, North Carolina
The CIAA Basket Ball tournament Bobcats Arena Charlotte North Carolina
The CIAA basketball tournament was in town, in Charlotte NC, Bobcat arena from FEB 27th through March 04 2006.
Anticipation a grand total of 120,000 plus visitors. The tournament started off with the girls playing and ended with the varsity men’s team.
According to the officials and their web site, parking is a breeze with the innovative new program. There are several parking lots around the arena, in five to fifteen minutes reachable on foot. The arena can be entered either from the plaza at Trade Street or the plaza on 5th Street.
When the brand new arena was built, a process that started in August 2002 with pre- design and programming phases, it was designed to hold an average of 18,500 visitors on 780,000 feet. The impressive monument was finished in the fall of 2005 and cost $265 million. The architectural highlight of the arena is a crescent "C" shape surrounding the arena as a symbol of community unity. Owned is this fine arena by the city of Charlotte and operated by the Charlotte Bobcats and the Charlotte Stings as well as the Charlotte Coliseum Authority.
One of the most famous men on the team is Robert (Bob) Johnson. He had donated $1 million toward the West Boulevard YMCA. He also is the founder of BET (1980), now reaching 75 million houses, leading the African American operated media and Entertainment Company in the USA. On his team, as a main share holder for the Bobcats is the famous entertainer Nelly.
The grand finale of the event though was the parking, -- not enough parking for the customers who traveled from far and wide. The breeze, as advertised, failed to catch all the visitors.
What was overlooked was the fact that a lot of people have rented those spots on monthly basis to park their vehicles while at work. With the CIAA event starting on a Monday through Saturday, the monthly parking out weighed the daily visitors.
Fortunately there was the ‘Preferred Parking’ company, who owns a lot of parking lots around the arena, but is not part of it, the Bobcats.
Vendors were set up in Preferred Parking lots surrounding the arena for a set fee of a $100.00 a day, selling everything from food, to female appliances like purses, belts, coats and other items, which took away a few more needed spots to park a car.
The parking started off being $5.00 up to $15.00 dollars during the games peek times. The Bobcats arena built their stadium on ground that was surrounded by a series of parking lots owned by Preferred Parking.
Mr. Johnson and the Bobcats attempted to buy Preferred Parking out, but Preferred refused the dollar amount, citing that the millions that the Bobcats were offering would not make up for the billions they will make since the arena has a long list of events, including Basket Ball games and other events, and a variety of shows that is schedule over the years including the CIAA tournament being schedule to come back to Charlotte in 2007. How right they are!
I got a chance to work the event and eat some good food and deal with some angry customers over the parking situation surrounding the Bobcat arena for the CIAA tournament.
By Roger and Birgit Pratcher
Authors on Authors Den
Copyright © March 2006