TAMPA — Tampa police advise motorists to expect road closures and traffic delays today around the areas hosting the Bollywood Oscars — downtown and Raymond James Stadium.
Police are even recommending that people avoid the Kennedy Street Bridge altogether during the evening hours and use the Cass Street Bridge and North Boulevard instead.
An estimated 30,000 tourists are expected in Tampa for the U.S. debut of the International Indian Film Academy Awards, which runs through through this weekend.
Those living near any of the events, police said, should be prepared for noise.
Here are highlights from police:
♦ Expect steady congestion downtown each day from 8:30 a.m. into the early evening because of the Global Business Forum and the IIFA Expo at the Tampa Convention Center and the comings and goings of Bollywood celebrities at the official awards hotel, the Hilton Downtown Tampa, 211 N. Tampa St.
♦ Intermittent lane and road closures are expected along Tampa Street between Kennedy Boulevard and Whiting Street and along Jackson Street between Ashley Drive and Florida Avenue.
♦ Park in either of Ybor City's garages or at the Port of Tampa Garage on Channelside Drive if you're coming downtown for the festivities. TECO Streetcars will be available for transportation.
♦ Traffic delays are expected the afternoon and evening today near Raymond James Stadium for the grand finale of the weekend — the Bollywood Oscars. The green carpet entrances will start at 4:30 p.m. and the show runs 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
♦ Traffic delays are expected through today as crews set up for the Oscars show. Tampa Bay Boulevard will be closed between Dale Mabry Highway and Himes Avenue through 6 a.m. Sunday.
♦ Parking lots around the stadium opened to the public at 2 p.m. today.
♦ Himes will be closed at 4 p.m. today between Columbus Drive and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and will reopen immediately after the awards show.