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Event planners adjust for Carmaggedon weekend

Some local event planners are hoping -- and betting-- you won't stay home to avoid 'Carmaggedon' weekend chaos.
July 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
When the "freeway closed" signs go up on the 405 Freeway during "Carmaggedon" weekend, will you stay at home to avoid the chaos? Some local event planners are hoping -- and betting-- you won't. Not every event planned for that weekend is calling it quits.

The Interstate 405 Highway will be shut down between the 10 and 101 freeways beginning Friday night, July 15, until the following Monday morning.

See a live cam shot of the Mulholland Bridge construction site.

Here's a look at who's canceling and who says the show must go on.

There's little doubt the 53-hour closure of the 405 will get top billing next weekend, but Carmageddon won't be the only act in town.

The Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team is set to take part in the World Football Challenge, a match against Real Madrid at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

"We've already sold well over 30,000 tickets and we're hoping to have 50-, 60-, 70,000 people," said Tom Payne, president of the L.A. Galaxy team.

Payne is hoping the 405 Freeway closure won't cut into attendance at the big game. But his team's website is emailing ticket-buyers, warning of the potential problem and offering online tips on ways to get around the shut-down section of the freeway.

Closer to the 405 is the Skirball Cultural Center. A half-million people visit the center every year, but not one visitor will make it inside during Carmageddon weekend.

For the first time in its history, the Skirball will be closed because of roadwork. That means meetings were canceled and a wedding had to be rescheduled.

The high-flying dreams of the American Heroes Air Show have also been grounded.

Organizers canceled the show out of traffic concerns, and the fact that many of the law-enforcement aircraft that would have been participating in the show will be on duty, standing by for any Carmageddon-related emergencies.

Even the Orang Utan Republik Foundation isn't "monkeying" around. Although its annual fundraiser will be held in Toluca Lake, organizers postponed it to August due to Caramageddon concerns.

But over at Santa Monica College, optimism prevails for one charity.

"The big event is the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, and we're expecting anywhere between 500 to 700 people to come out and walk for the battle against cancer," said Santa Monica College Police Sgt. Jere Romano.

The fundraiser will be held at the school's athletic field, running 24 hours straight in the middle of the 405 closure. There are definitely some fears that fewer people will show up and less money will be raised.

"Unfortunately we did have one team that dropped out here because of the 405 closure, but we're really pushing to get more people involved," said Romano.

The Galaxy is encouraging its fans to budget more time for the drive to the big game. Even if Carmaggedon is not as bad as expected and you get there early, the Galaxy does offer pre-game entertainment.

Beat Carmageddon with ABC7

The 405 shuts down the weekend of July 16-17, and ABC7 Eyewitness News is your home for the latest traffic news and information. Follow @abc7 and @BeatCarmageddon on Twitter, and use the hash tag #abc7traffic.

ABC7 has also partnered with Waze to help navigate the traffic. Download the Waze app, which provides free turn-by-turn GPS navigation based on the live conditions of the road. Join the community of drivers in Southern California today and beat Carmageddon.

Check out the latest Carmageddon coverage from abc7.com


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