NCAA basketball fans encouraged not to drive to arena - FOX Carolina 21

NCAA basketball fans encouraged not to drive to arena

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NCAA basketball fans encouraged not to drive to arena. (FOX Carolina/ March 15, 2017) NCAA basketball fans encouraged not to drive to arena. (FOX Carolina/ March 15, 2017)

Guests are blowing into the Greenville area for the NCAA men's basketball tournament. So, to have an edge up on what's going on, dispatchers at Eastside Transportation are trying to stay ahead of the game.

"We're safe, affordable transportation," said Derek Baker, the sales and marketing director with Eastside Transportation.

He says basketball fans
who are in the area for the Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament are calling for transportation services.

"We have a couple of SUVs, we have some towncars and some shuttles that are going to be picking people up and moving cars around in groups," Baker said. "Downtown's going to be congested and crowded and we're going to do our part to help out as much as we can."

More than 42,000 fans are expected to pack the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Police say that will mean packed parking lots and traffic lanes.

"There's one officer at the intersection controlling the traffic lights and there's also another officer there actually manually directing people to cross the intersection," Master Patrolman Johnathan Bragg with the Greenville Police Department said.

Bragg says officers will patrol inside and outside the arena.

"We'll have officers going throughout the parking garages as well as downtown on foot," Bragg said."That way traffic moves a little more smoothly."

And Jason Yaman is trying to clear lanes at the arena.

"It's come together pretty quickly. As you can see behind me, it's still coming together," Yaman said.

He's the associate commissioner with the Southern Conference which is a host for the tournament.

"It's a great honor. It's the first time obviously that it's been in Greenville since 2002," Yaman said.

Tickets are sold out, more than 6,000 hotels are booked and restaurants are cooking.

"It's one of the largest sporting events in the country perhaps outside of the Super Bowl," Yaman said.

And it's all happening in Greenville.

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