NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fears are being expressed that an NBA All-Star concert next week in one of the city’s busiest neighborhoods could hurt local business and stop traffic.
As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported, the snowmen in the Flatiron Public Plaza — part of a popular and recently installed public arts project — are not smiling. They’re frowning because they’re going to be ejected to make way for a 45-minute-long NBA All-Star concert.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine: CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez Has What You Need To Know About The Johnson & Johnson Shot
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said it’s the wrong move.
“This plaza is too small for such a large event,” she said.
And the snowmen, which are being moved at a cost of $60,000, aren’t the only things getting the heave ho to make way for an estimated crowd of 10,000.
Community Board sources told Kramer 150 granite benches and planters in the area will also be moved, as well as solar-powered charging stations and the Citi Bike racks.
Streets in one of the city’s busiest areas will be closed before and during the Feb. 12 concert.
Curb lanes in the area will be closed starting at midnight Monday, and on concert day cars will be barred from 6 to 9 p.m. on Broadway and Fifth Avenue between 23rd and 26th streets and West 24th and 25th streets between Broadway and Sixth Avenue.READ MORE: Who Is Cuomo's Possible Successor, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul?
The closures could also effect the local economy.
“There are businesses there who could be impacted,” said Brewer. “We just had an impact in terms of a snowstorm. The businesses need every dollar.”
“I think it’s crazy. Why would they do that?” said Harold, who lives in the area.
“Not happy because this is the way I get around,” said John O’Shea, who works in the area. “They got to be able to move this someplace else.”
“Should probably limit their concerts to times and places where it doesn’t impact as many people,” said another resident.
Brewer is also worried about the precedent. She said it’s a bad idea to hold any big event at any of the city’s small neighborhood plazas.MORE NEWS: Gov. Murphy Reflects On All He And People Of New Jersey Have Learned During The Coronavirus Pandemic
City officials said the NBA All-Star weekend is a big shot in the arm for the city. At least $100 million in economic activity is expected to be generated.