NBA All-Star weekend to kick off, workers to put up controversial fence - WFTV Orlando


Thursday marks the official beginning of the festivities surrounding the NBA All-Star game and businesses around Orlando are getting ready for the surge of people set to pile into town.

NBA workers are getting ready to put up the controversial fence that will separate the Amway Center from businesses across the street.

Nearby businesses were so worried the fence would block customers, they filed for an injunction, which a judge denied.

But city officials are not the only ones preparing for the crowds.

So many shoppers are expected to show up at the Mall at Millennia, employees are being forced toride shuttles from off-property parking lots.

At Florida Mall, crews are scrambling to build tents and even an outdoor basketball court to hold the events and streams of people they will bring.

The mall is expecting more people than on "Black Friday," so deputies are increasing patrols.

"We'll see what the wife says if she makes me come down here, but it if were up to me I'd stay away," said Kyle Reid about shopping this weekend.

The clubs downtown are welcoming the more than 50,000 people expected to flood Orlando.

"I think we are ready. I think we are very capable of holding the clientele and what they expect in other big cities, I think we are ready to show them and prove that we will do a great job as hosts," said Keith Mawardi, of the Teir nightclub.

Police officers are also getting ready to control the crowds and cars.

They're handing out parking passes to downtown residents and business owners to make sure they can get around the more than half-dozen streets that will be blocked off starting Friday.

23 Feb, 2012

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