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Acrisure Arena opens with comedians Dave Chappelle & Chris Rock amid parking, traffic delays

Opening night at Acrisure Arena was a moment thousands of people have been waiting for. Many attendees say they spent a lot of time waiting. They were in their cars, backed up on Cook Street and Varner Road, trying to access the parking lot.

Fans from all over the region lined up to see comedians Dave Chapelle and Chris Rock. The highly-anticipated show was set to start at 7:30 p.m.

By 8:43 p.m., the Acrisure Arena account tweeted an update on parking, informing attendees that the overflow lot at Xavier Prep High School on Cook Street would be used for those who had not pre-purchased a parking pass. A shuttle was going to bring these people into the arena area.

Parking was one of the big challenges attendees faced on opening night. Some visitors tell News Channel 3 it took over an hour to park. Traffic into the arena area continued as long as an hour and a half after showtime.

“We're locals, so we don't learn the ins and outs of the facility. So this kind of a test run for us," said local resident Kenneth Phillips.

“I think it's great for the desert to have something you know, I don't have to travel an hour out of town. It's very nice," explained Cathedral City resident Haley.

For future events, parking can be purchased ahead of time online. Acrisure Arena says you can save up to 20% compared to paying for it at the venue.

People are encouraged to carpool and arrive early.

Attendees we spoke with inside the arena were thrilled to be there. “Super excited to come to see Dave Chappelle forever. So here we are," said Indio resident Nancy Smart.

“I think it's pretty cool. I mean, my mom lives in Palm Springs," said Covina resident Lenesse Rasmussen. "So we've been waiting for this to open up. It's gonna be awesome.”

Cellphones were left in pouches to ensure they were not being used during performances. They were only allowed in phone-use areas. At least one woman in the front row was removed by security after Dave Chappelle pointed her out to security for using her cell phone.

“I think it's needed. And as they say, laughter is good for the soul. You know, so the fact that we can just kind of let go not be too uptight, not take ourselves too seriously. And just really, you know, let what connects us bind us versus the things that divide," said Las Vegas attendee Krista Robinson-Wesley.

For a list of future events at Acrisure Arena, click here.

WATCH: Acrisure Arena officially opens its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony
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Samantha Lomibao

Samantha joined KESQ News Channel 3 in May 2021. Learn more about Samantha here here.


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