The Town of Chapel Hill is preparing for a historic matchup between UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The Town of Chapel Hill is preparing for a historic matchup between UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. For the first time ever, the No. 8 Tar Heels will face the No. 2 Blue Devils in the Final Four. The game starts at 8:49 p.m. Saturday, April 2.
The Town has extensive experience managing the excitement that a big Tar Heel victory brings to Franklin Street and our community is nationally known for our large post-game celebrations.
Chapel Hill’s Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Public Works, Parking Services, Parks Maintenance, and other departments are planning a coordinated response to a possible victory celebration. Safety measures include additional public safety personnel downtown Saturday and traffic diversion plans to reduce vehicles in and around the event area.
Ditch the Bonfires and Fireworks
The Town takes many steps to enhance safety at such events, but we need your help. Bonfires and fireworks on Franklin Street are extremely dangerous.
During previous celebrations, the Chapel Hill Fire Department and Orange County Emergency Services have responded to injuries that have resulted from the presence of bonfires. And, the UNC Jaycee Burn Center and UNC Campus Health have treated the severe, life-changing injuries that have occurred.
In recent years, revelers have launched celebratory fireworks during these events, which are illegal in North Carolina and which are particularly dangerous in and around tightly-packed crowds.
Chapel Hill ordinances and North Carolina statutes prohibit the following items in the celebratory crowd and immediate-surrounding area:
- Weapons of any kind
- Fireworks and explosives
- Flammable substances
- Alcoholic beverages
- Glass bottles
Getting Downtown Saturday
Downtown Chapel Hill will be extremely busy Saturday evening. Plan ahead if you want to experience the game downtown. In anticipation of a UNC win, signage will be in place, notifying drivers that parking is not allowed in street closure areas.
- The Town will begin restricting parking at 1 p.m. Saturday
- The Town will begin towing cars at 6 p.m. Saturday
If your car is towed you can reach the Chapel Hill Police Department after hours by calling Orange County’s non-emergency number: 919-732-5063.
If UNC wins, the Franklin/Columbia streets intersection and nearby roads will be closed to motor-vehicle traffic and it will be nearly impossible to get downtown except on foot. Please plan accordingly and note the items above that will be prohibited within the closed event area.
In the event of road closures Chapel Hill Transit Safe Ride routes will be delayed until streets are reopened. Most Saturday Transit routes end by 7:15 p.m. and remain on their regular routes and schedules.
Our local businesses appreciate the support of Tar Heel fans. Chapel Hill Fire Department staff will be performing safety checks at downtown businesses to make sure capacity limits are followed and the Chapel Hill Police Department will watch for alcohol violations.
Follow the Town of Chapel Hill on Facebook and Twitter for timely updates.