Police plan for 'celebrations' after U of L Final Four games - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police plan for 'celebrations' after U of L Final Four games

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Fans jump over burning couch near UK campus in Lexington, March 30, 2012 Fans jump over burning couch near UK campus in Lexington, March 30, 2012
Fans surround car set afire after UK Final Four win, Lexington, March 30, 2012 Fans surround car set afire after UK Final Four win, Lexington, March 30, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  (WDRB) -- Having fun in the streets is a great way to celebrate any Cardinal wins this weekend.

But burning couches and tying up traffic are not.

Louisville police don't want a repeat of events from past NCAA celebrations in Lexington.

They're hoping fans will not set fire to gently used couches -- or cars for that matter.

They're also hoping not to have to use extreme crowd control measures to keep things calm.

"Card Nation, I think, is much different than Cats Nation. And I don't really expect that to happen in Louisville," said University of Louisville Public Safety Dept. Maj. David James in a Thursday news conference.

U of L's police department will join Louisville Metro Police, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, Metro Corrections, Louisville Metro EMS and Louisville Fire and Rescue on special details after each of U of L's Final Four games.  The contingent includes at least 200 police officers, in addition to firefighters, paramedics and EMTs, officials said.

"Folks want to celebrate, and we join them in that. Please be respectful and orderly," said Louisville Metro Police Maj. Kelly Jones, the special operations unit commander.

Officers are optimistic fans will behave, but they are also prepared for men's and women's games Saturday, Sunday and perhaps Monday and Tuesday.

They consulted with Lexington, Ky., authorities about their experiences with several instances of mayhem and disorder after University of Kentucky Final Four games.

Police had a taste of West Broadway celebrations after the U of L victory over Duke last Sunday night.

Fans hung out of car windows and packed Broadway bumper to bumper for a couple of hours.

But officers kept traffic moving, especially so emergency vehicles could pass.

Police will watch for drivers and for fans spilling into the streets on West Broadway from 21st Street westward; in the Highlands, especially near Bardstown Road and Baxter Avenue; and at U of L, especially at Cardinal Boulevard between Third and Fourth Streets.

Students who live in the area received instructions to move their cars.

"They said our cars have to be moved, I believe it's Saturday by noon, and they can't be back until Tuesday morning, and if they're left they're going to be towed," said student Olivia Beam.

James said that's to minimize any vandalism to vehicles so close to any large crowds.

Officers also will watch Fourth Street Live and other areas downtown, and they'll keep Chickasaw and Shawnee Parks open all weekend, unless there's a safety risk.

"I think we're all just very excited that both women's and men's are in the Final Four. It's a pretty exciting time for us," said Beam.

http://wdrb.images.worldnow.com/images/incoming/news/NCAA-Traffic-2013.pdf has details about parking restrictions and possible street closings.  It's information from Louisville Metro Police.

http://www.wdrb.com/story/21882726/u-of-l-announces-revised-class-schedule-due-to-final-four explains contingencies for students attending the Final Four and for afternoon and evening classes Monday and Tuesday at University of Louisville.

http://www.wdrb.com/story/21883764/u-of-l-couches-are-for-cuddling-not-burning shows U of L's Facebook graphics to discourage couch burning.  You might get a chuckle from them.

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