NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Newark is setting the stage for this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

For the first time in 35 years, the VMAs will be held at the Prudential Center on Monday night.

“We’re treating this like a blizzard,” Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose told reporters Friday.

Ambrose says the city is no stranger to big events.

“We’ve had the pope. We’ve had the president. We’ve had the Dalai Lama,” he said.

This event is different, however, with so many big names in one place.

Officials warn of rush hour gridlock that evening, and they’re asking some downtown businesses to let employees work from home or leave early to ease congestion.

Watch: Newark Public Safety Director Outlines MTV VMA Street Closures 

That’s not an option for the employees at Nick’s Drugs, which is located two blocks from the arena. They deliver prescriptions to customers all over the city daily.

“It’s going to be crazy, like when the snow comes, when we have the snow storms. It’s the same thing,” employee Angie Diaz told CBS2’s Tara Jakeway. “Nowhere to park, nowhere to drive, nowhere to move. We’re stuck.”

Earl Graham said his employer is heeding the warning and advising all employees to work remotely to avoid the downtown area.

“I’m still getting paid but I’m going to stay home,” he said. “It’s going to be really crazy, and I think that’s the best thing for it, to have the place shut down.”

Debra Salters, however, wants to know why the people of the city don’t see any of the proceeds from big events like these.

“The fact that the mayor is talking about telling people to stay home and leave work early – Are you paying these people? This is what I want to know,” she said. “Why are we always inconvenienced and left to clean up their garbage, and we don’t benefit?”

Edwin Rosario, owner of the restaurant Lola Empanadas, sees the bright side, however. Newark police expect more than 15,000 people to attend the award show, and Rosario is hoping that means a boost for business.

“This will definitely increase our revenue for our businesses here, which is definitely well-needed,” Rosario said.

There will be more than 300 uniformed officers patrolling the event.

Anyone who plans to try to catch a glimpse of their favorite celebrities Monday night should come on foot and leave backpacks and umbrellas behind, since both items are banned at the event.

Street closures begin Sunday afternoon on Mulberry Street between Market and Lafayette and will be extended Monday, lasting until 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Street Closures:

Sunday, August 25th, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Mulberry Street between Market Street and Lafayette Street

Monday, August 26th, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

  • Mulberry Street, from Lafayette Street to Market Street
  • Franklin Street

Monday, August 26th, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Extended Street Closure)

  • Mulberry Street, from Raymond Boulevard and Green Street

Monday, August 26th, from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

  • Market Street between Washington Street and McCarter Highway
  • Edison Place between Broad Street and McCarter Highway

Lane Closures:

Monday, August 26th, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

  • Bus lane and northbound lane of traffic on Broad Street, from Green Street to Market Street

Monday, August 26th, from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

  • Westbound lane of traffic on Lafayette Street, from McCarter Highway to Broad Street

Comments

Leave a Reply