PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The city of Providence will be hopping with thousands of visitors this week. Getting around may be a challenge.
Thursday, March 17, round one of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship is at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center from the afternoon into the evening — and will compete with St. Patrick’s Day revelry.
Saturday, March 19, the Guinness St. Pat’s 5k will step off from the State House in the morning, followed by the second round of the NCAA basketball championship in the evening. The St. Patrick’s parade will also be in the Smith Hill area at noontime, and it’s also St. Joseph’s Day, when Federal Hill becomes Zeppole Central.
Finally, there’s also a “Slam Dunk WaterFire” basin lighting on Friday, March 18, with the braziers set to be lit at 7:20 p.m., if you needed something to do on the day in between.
Street closings for NCAA
Several side streets are being closed in the downcity core Wednesday to Sunday, as pedestrians will be traveling between the city’s hotels and the Dunkin’ Donuts Center for the basketball games.
Mathewson Street between Washington and Fountain Streets will close Thursday at 8 a.m., and stay closed until Sunday at 8 a.m. Union Street will also close between Washington and Fountain Thursday at 8 a.m. until Sunday at 8 a.m.
Adrian Hall Way, next to Trinity Repertory Company and Trinity Brewhouse, will also close Wednesday at 8 a.m. until Sunday noon.
Further, on Federal Hill, Acorn Street will be closed between Atwells Ave. and Spruce Street from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday for a St. Joseph’s festival.
Emily Crowell, the deputy director of communications for the office of Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, said Tuesday she was in communication with the Department of Public Works and she understood any construction projects in the downtown area would be put on hold during this period, because of the amount of increased traffic.
NCAA events at the Dunk
The NCAA announced all the way back in 2014 that Providence would be one of eight sites hosting tournament games for this year’s March Madness. The city had previously hosted NCAA tournament games in 2010, and the event brought in about $3.5 million in revenue.
Wednesday, March 16
Open Practice Sessions, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 17
Game 1: Duke vs. UNC Wilmington, 12:15 p.m.
Game 2: Baylor vs. Yale, 2:45 p.m. (after conclusion of Game 1)
Game 3: Miami vs. Buffalo, 6:50 p.m.
Game 4: Arizona vs. Vanderbilt/Wichita State at 9:20 p.m. (after conclusion of Game 3)
Saturday, March 19
Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, time TBD
Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4, time TBD
Limited tickets were still available at PrimeSport.com, starting at $145 per person.
Other events, from GoProvidence.com:
Saturday Morning: St. Pat’s 5k Run
Saturday Afternoon: St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Smith Street, Hilltop Avenue, Wyndham Avenue, Arbor Drive, and Roslyn Avenue)
Saturday Afternoon: St. Joseph’s Block Party, Acorn Street, Federal Hill