A trifecta convergence of the American Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament March 9 to 12 at the XL Center, the Spirit dance and cheerleading festival March 11 and 12 at the Connecticut Convention Center, and the St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 11, could mean more than 100,000 visitors to downtown Hartford.
Jordan Polon, executive director of the Hartford Business Improvement District, said there should be ample parking in garages near the XL Center and the convention center, but the one exception could be during the St. Patrick's Day parade, which will run from 11 a.m. to about 2 p.m. on March 11.
Spectators headed to either the convention center or the XL Center during that time should avoid seeking parking along the parade route, Polon said. Parking lots along the parade route typically fill up hours before the event steps off, she said.
"We're talking just a few minutes walk from the XL Center, convention center or the parade," Polon said. "We're well positioned to take care of this many folks."
The parade, which will feature 5,000 marchers, starts at the Capitol building and follows a route east along Capitol Avenue before turning north on Main Street. The parade then travels west on Asylum Street to Ford Street and ends at the Memorial Arch.
Polon said visitors in the city also should be aware of road closures.
According to the parade website, irishamericanparade.com, these roads will be closed at 9:30 a.m.: Capitol Avenue between Broad Street and Washington Street; Hungerford Street between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street; Oak Street between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street; Washington Street between Capitol Avenue and Buckingham Street; and Trinity Street for the entire length of Capitol Avenue exit ramp off I-84 east.
These roads will close at 10:40 a.m.: Capitol Avenue between Broad Street and Main Street; Main Street between Buckingham Street and Church Street; Asylum Street between Main Street and Spruce Street; and Ford Street for the entire length of the Colin Whitehead Highway at Columbus Boulevard exit.