Traffic is likely to be heavy this week in Charlotte due to two big events – the CIAA basketball tournament and Billy Graham’s visitation and funeral.
President Donald Trump will be in town Friday for Graham’s funeral, which will be at the Billy Graham Library in southwest Charlotte. Presidential visits have caused road closures and traffic issues in the past, and Trump’s exact route hasn’t been announced yet. The Observer will provide more information about Friday’s traffic as it becomes available.
The public can view the evangelist’s closed casket at the Billy Graham Library on Monday and Tuesday.
Meanwhile, CIAA tournament events will take place around the city starting midweek and continuing through the weekend.
Games will be at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Tuesday and Wednesday and at Spectrum Center Thursday through Saturday. Official events connected to the tournament will mostly be at the Charlotte Convention Center and the Epicentre, so expect crowds uptown.
Unofficial events will also draw crowds during tournament weekend – on Friday night alone, Lil Wayne is performing at the Oak Room in South End and Cardi B will perform at AvidXChange Music Factory’s World nightclub.
Both events happening at once may mean that some Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers will see their days off canceled this week, Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings said, but the department is prepared.
“We have some experience in this – we’ve handled a lot of presidential details,” Jennings said. “We know there’s going to be some inconvenience, we’re asking the public and everyone that’s coming to pay respects just to be patient.”
Police will give drivers as much notice as possible about traffic disruptions, he said.
Shuttles will run to the Billy Graham Library on Monday and Tuesday from two locations: the parking lots at the Operation Christmas Child warehouse at 7100 Forest Point Blvd. in south Charlotte and from the Charlotte Valet Business Lot 2 at 5601 Wilkinson Blvd. at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Graham’s body will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., before returning to Charlotte for the funeral on Friday. The funeral is closed to the public, but about 2,300 invited guests will be there.