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High Point Road welcomes first ACC Tournament visitors since change to Gate City Boulevard

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The new Gate City Boulevard for the popular former High Point Road in Greensboro may be a challenge for GPS units trying to find the Coliseum for the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament but not as big a problem for visitors.

The name change became official last summer as the city of Greensboro tries to change the image of the road that had for many years been seen as a high crime area.

“To me it’s always High Point Road -- it’s still the same,” said John Kallam, who led a group of 10 people visiting the arena for a quarterfinal game between Georgia Tech and Louisville Friday night.

Kallam said it’s a family tradition that dates back at least the last five years.

Even though Kallam sees no difference between the names he believes the new name can influence those unfamiliar with Greensboro.

“It brings a new image to the whole area,” said Kallam.

Kallam said even though many businesses tried to fight the name change new businesses might welcome the new moniker.

A check of crime statistics over the last week found just two drug crimes and one assault along Gate City Boulevard from about one mile west of I-40 to the Coliseum. Over the last month though there have been about half a dozen more drug crimes investigated and even more car break-ins.

Still many visitors like Maddie Frye said she feels comfortable in her hotel and more than a dozen people had no problem walking Gate City Boulevard after dark to get to stores like Krispy Kreme Donuts.

“Bad stuff can happen anywhere but I don't think it gets bad enough where you're not going to come over here to the Coliseum. I mean I just think that's crazy.”