LeBron Returns to Akron

AKRON, Ohio – LeBron James made his highly anticipated return his hometown with an event celebrating the Cleveland Cavaliers run to their first NBA Championship.

The celebration took place at Lock 3 in downtown Akron, where around 30,000 people packed the venue to see LeBron James’ first appearance in Akron since winning the NBA title last Sunday.

The turnout was so large that the city opened Canal Park for additional seating. Both venues were at maximum capacity.

The majority of the event was dedicated to the LeBron James Family Foundation, who sponsored the event alongside the city of Akron and The University of Akron.

The celebration included speakers such as the mayor of Akron Dan Horrigan, LeBron’s former head coaches Keith Dambrot and Dru Joyce, and many more.

Moments before LeBron James took the stage, a brand new banner was unveiled, as well as a new street name, “King James Way”.

Once James took to the stage, he paid his dues to the city that raised him.

“I’m home!” James yelled while walking onstage hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

“Akron is home. Everywhere I go, I appreciate Akron.”

Written by Khalil Smith

A Celebration Fit for a King

Akron, OH- For the second summer in the last three years, the city of Akron once again proved to LeBron James that this city really is home.

During the summer of 2014 amidst the return of James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the city gathered at the University of Akron’s Infocision Stadium to welcome back the king in conjunction with the LeBron James Family Foundation.

While the year has certainly changed since then, the atmosphere certainly had not, as Akron was out loud and proud once again and this time, things were even crazier.

More than 20,000 people from all over the greater Akron area showed up last night in support of LeBron, as Lock 3 filled up in a matter of minutes once gates were opened.

In fact, the venue became so full that entrance was denied to further supporters as they were forced to watch on the big screen at next door Canal Park, which also became filled to capacity.

During the walk through the streets, many people were excited to be interviewed, many of which proclaiming their love for LeBron and for everything he has done for the city.

One thing that certainly deserves mentioning were all of the street vendors. They were plentiful and just about every single vendor had a sizeable line for their products. It was really incredible to see all of the people throwing any money they could towards LeBron/championship gear.

Fresh off the heels of a 4-3 Finals series win, LeBron and his hometown were ready to celebrate. And while the numbers may not have reached Cleveland levels, this celebration was fun just the same.

There were many great speeches prior to James coming on stage, including two from his former coaches Dru Joyce Sr. and University of Akron head basketball coach Keith Dambrot. Both had very compelling words to say about James.

Once LeBron made his way on stage the place completely erupted, drowning the king with loudness and love in his throne at Lock 3. A new banner was also displayed for the first time behind Lock 3, featuring James holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy and LeBron’s famous “nothing is given….” Quote.

The activities also included the unveiling of the new street sign for “King James Way” which will be the new name of the part of Main Street that runs between Market Street and Exchange Street.

In the end, the event ran great and was very fitting for LeBron. He has done a tremendous amount for both the city of Akron and the university, and it is only right that they honor him for such.LeBron James

LeBron James Event Info for 6/23/2016

The City of Akron has provided the following updated information concerning times of various street closures along with advice for those wishing to attend the celebration event:

The gates to Lock 3 will open at 7 p.m. and entry to the park will be on a first come, first served basis. This event is standing room only. Video monitors and speakers will permit overflow crowds outside of the Lock 3 amphitheater on South Main Street to be part of the stage program. Concessions and free water will be available inside Lock 3.

West Bowery Street will be closed from Center Street to South Main Street beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 23 South Main Street will be closed from Mill Street to Exchange Street beginning at 1 p.m.
Church Street and University Avenue will be closed from High Street to South Main Street beginning at 5p.m.

Admission to the event is free and city and county parking lots and decks will also be free:

Broadway Deck (120 S. Broadway);
Cascade Deck (10 W. Mill Street);
CitiCenter Deck (132 S. High Street);
High/Market Deck (40 S. High Street);
Morley Deck (177 S. Broadway);
State St./O’Neil’s Deck (52 W. State Street);
Opportunity Park Deck (666 S. Broadway);
Akron Centre Deck (11 W. Mill Street); and
Summit County Parking Deck (200 S. High Street).
Close to 7,000 parking spaces will be available to guests free of charge.

Guests are encouraged to park and walk to the event. Guests requiring handicap parking/access are encouraged to utilize Cascade and State Street decks. Guests using a wheelchair will be escorted to a designated area. Seating in this area is limited. All city of Akron Public Safety assets will be used to ensure the safety and welfare of our guests.

The following items will not be permitted inside the Main Street venue:
backpacks,
umbrellas,
chairs,
signs or
blankets.

Strollers will be permitted and all bags/purses will be inspected upon entry to Lock 3.

METRO, Akron’s transit service, will offer free bus fares after 5 p.m. Delays and detours are expected.
METRO’s customer service phone lines (330) 762-0341 will be in operation until 10 p.m.

Updates will be posted on akronmetro.org, METRO’s Facebook, and METRO’s Twitter pages as they become available.

Stayed tuned to WZIP 88.1 for updates on today’s events and live coverage of LeBron James Celebration

University of Akron Classes Canceled Thursday PM Because of Street Closures & Crowd

The University is canceling all classes that start at noon or later on Thursday, June 23, because of scheduled street closures adjacent to campus and the anticipated large crowd expected to converge on downtown Akron tomorrow for the City of Akron celebration of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Championship

The normal class schedule will resume on Friday, June 24.

Normal summer work hours for University employees will remain in effect.