Police and security guards had to turn people away from the EpiCentre Friday after the uptown hot spot reached its maximum capacity of 2,225 people. (Photo: Michaela L. Duckett for Qcitymetro.com)
Apparently, the EpiCentre was the place to be Friday evening. By 5 p.m., security guards and police Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers began turning people away because, they said, the uptown hot spot had reached its maximum capacity of 2,225 people.
“The EpiCentre is private property,” said Lester Williams of ITC, the security company hired by EpiCentre management. “The owners have the right to shut it down anytime they want to.”
CMPD was out in force Friday night as thousands of CIAA fans went in search of food and fun. Officers were stationed at nearly every major intersection to ensure that traffic kept moving. The department reported five arrests between 12 p.m. Friday and 3:23 a.m. Saturday – two for open containers, one for disorderly conduct, one for carrying a concealed weapon and one for resisting arrest.
It was not the first time the EpiCentre had been shut down for reaching capacity.
“For CIAA, this usually happens,” said Williams. “As more people try to come to the EpiCentre, we have to limit the number we let in. As people come out, we let people in.”
Some patrons who had been turned away were not too happy about the news.
“I just want to get something to eat at Firehouse Subs, and I can’t get in,” one woman said.
“I just want something to eat. I don’t want to hang out,” she continued.
She pled her case to a Charlotte police officer who was standing nearby and was allowed to get in and go eat.