NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – People who live and work in Manhattan’s Flatiron District say their neighborhood is too small to host an NBA All-Star concert.
CBS2’s Elise Finch found out that in spite of the opposition, the show will go on.
Just outside of Madison Square Park, with the famous Flatiron Building as its backdrop, crews were hard at work Wednesday setting up the stage for the first annual Roc City Classic—a free concert promoting the NBA’s All-Star weekend.
But some residents say it’s a terrible location for an event expected to attract 10,000 people.
“This area is really congested enough,” Leanne Bryan said.
“This is a main area of NYC, especially a lot of tourists trying to see Flatiron and just a lot of things going on around here. I think they could have made a better location,” Kirsti Murphy said, who works in the Flatiron District.
“I don’t even know where they’re going to fit and the traffic is horrible,” Courtney Seasongood said. “It is going to be a pain tomorrow for sure.”
CBS2 was there as crews began setting up for the concert, removing installed public art projects, granite benches, planters and CitiBike racks, to make way for the stage.
Members of Manhattan Community Board Five sent a strongly-worded letter to the mayor calling the event, “inappropriate in terms of scale, duration, volume and impact for this dense commercial and residential area.”
But their protests didn’t seem to matter.
Controversial rapper Kanye West will headline the 45-minute show.
“It shows you the power of celebrity and connection maybe, which doesn’t bode well for the people who live in New York,” resident Amy Bridges said.
“I think it could be good if maybe it was a different band. I’m not the biggest Kanye fan and then he went on the Grammys and he’s getting slammed for that and he’s got the whole ego thing,” Sam Standing said.
But not everyone is upset about the concert. Some say they’re excited about the big show.
“I love the community part of it, I love concerts, I love hanging out. It’s fun!” Anthony Stanhope said.
Traffic in the area will be halted 6-9 p.m. Thursday to accommodate the crowds.
The concert stage will be taken down on Friday. No word on if the artwork and amenities to make way for the stage will be returned to Flatiron Plaza.