Uptown businesses worry parking may keep Knights, Bobcats fans away

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:


CHARLOTTE - Uptown businesses are looking forward to a busy April. The Knights will play their first home game at the new BB&T Stadium uptown on Friday. The Bobcats have also clinched a spot in the NBA playoffs.

While exciting news, anchor Scott Wickersham has been looking into a major concern about parking and traffic congestion uptown. Especially since baseball fans will look for parking spaces around the same time uptown workers are heading home for the day.

On Monday morning, Bobcats fans lined up for playoff tickets. The Knights will have 12 home games in April alone.

Restaurants like the newly opened Mellow Mushroom are excited by the prospect of thousands of hungry sports fans, but are afraid a lack of parking will keep them away.

“Friday the very first game people will still be at work. The decks will be full and people will have to go out, out quite a few blocks to find parking,” said Mellow Mushroom General Manager Bill Mallette.

The Knights say this should not be an issue.

“There’s more than adequate parking in the evening,” said Knights General Manager Dan Rajkowski.

Rajkowski says the early afternoon festivities Friday are a one-time deal. Most weekday games will be held at 7 p.m. However the gates will open at 5:30 p.m., possibly leading to an influx of fans as workers are heading home.

Rajkowksi says the Knights have worked out a deal for some ticket holders to park at the Duke Energy Center. He hopes others will be able to find affordable parking nearby.

“The garages next door will be comparable rates. They won’t be $20 or $30. We envision the $5 to $10 range,” Rajkowski said.

Center City Partners says there is ample parking is you know where to look.

“We have over 46,000 parking spaces uptown, so we don’t feel there is a shortage. But we do hear from people who can’t find the parking that is available,” said Allison Billings with Center City Partners.

Click here to see Center City Partner’s map of available parking in uptown Charlotte.