Super Bowl organizers address 'human gridlock' in downtown Indy
Super Bowl organizers in Indianapolis say they plan to change their approach towards crowd control Saturday night after Friday's human gridlock.
Tens of thousands of fans headed to Super Bowl Village Friday night for the LMFAO concert, and many people simply became stuck for hours. Although some WTHR viewers reported being "trampled," the Super Bowl Host Committee says only 11 injuries were reported, and all of them were minor. The Super Cure Clinic had just eight patients Friday and none required transport to hospitals.
Police eventually shut off additional streets to vehicular traffic to allow people more space to move, and all inbound traffic was diverted late Friday.
The host committee said in a news conference Saturday morning that they plan to address the areas that "bottlenecked."
So far, the village has had an estimated 780,000 visitors and 8,000 of them have taken a ride on the zipline.
Police reported 22 arrests, with a small portion of those within Super Bowl Village on Georgia Street. Most of the arrests were alcohol-related.
Organizers said Friday's concert and other events attracted the largest crowd Indianapolis had ever seen downtown. The committee said Saturday's rain may dampen attendance.
Spotty showers and drizzle are in the forecast for Saturday, with temperatures steady at around 40 with wind gusts out of the east up to 25mph. A little sleet or snow may mix in north of I-70 around Muncie and Kokomo. Saturday night, temperatures will drop to around 33 with drizzle and a chance for a shower. The rain should move out by 9:00 am Sunday and clouds will break by the afternoon. Highs for Sunday will be in the mid-40s.
While the committee says they're not adjusting the number of officers on the streets, they will be shifting resources based on Friday's problem areas.
Several WTHR viewers reported the crowd becoming too rowdy for children. The committee told people Saturday morning that parents need to use their discretion as to whether or not the concerts are appropriate for children.
So far, 216,000 people have visited NFL Experience at the Indiana Convention Center, with 25,000 on Friday alone. The grand total breaks the record for NFL Experience attendance. (The event is held in every Super Bowl host city.)
The Pacers host the Magic tonight at 7:00 pm at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The committee encouraged fans to come downtown for the game, but to plan where to park ahead of time. It's recommended that you park north of Monument Circle. Parking info here.
There will be less music and activity in the village on game day, organizers said, to allow space for fans leaving Lucas Oil Stadium. Events in the village will end by 7:00 pm.
Organizers want fans to know they will not be able to watch the game in the village. While downtown bars and restaurants will have the game on televisions, you will not be able to see it on the big screens in the village.
A sweep was conducted at Lucas Oil Stadium Friday and new security perimeters have been established. Please note the following:
The following streets near Lucas Oil Stadium will be closed Feb. 3 - 6:
•Missouri Street between McCarty and South streets
•Merrill Street between Capitol Avenue and Illinois Street
Also Feb. 3 - 5 the south half of Monument Circle, including the Meridian Street south spoke, will be closed for the display of the Super Bowl Roman Numerals. Eastbound Market Street will be closed between Illinois and Pennsylvania streets, but westbound traffic will be maintained.
Additionally, other streets near Lucas Oil Stadium will be closed on the day of the game, Feb. 5:
•Missouri Street from I-70 to Maryland Street
•South Street between Illinois and West streets
•Illinois Street between McCarty and South streets
•I-70 Exit 79A to West Street
Now - Feb. 6
The following streets remain closed for Super Bowl Village and Lucas Oil Stadium through Feb. 6:
•Capitol Avenue between Maryland and McCarty streets
•Illinois Street between Maryland and South streets
•Meridian Street between Maryland and South streets
•Pennsylvania Street between Maryland and South streets
•South Street between Capitol Avenue and Missouri Street
On game day, NFL lots open at 11:00 am. Gates to Lucas Oil Stadium open at 2:00 pm. The host committee warns fans to expect elevated parking rates on game day.
On Friday, the Indianapolis International Airport saw 15,000 passengers and 1,500 of them took cab rides.
The NFL told the committee that Indianapolis' 8,000 scarf-clad volunteers, who have been busy directing visitors and wishing them a "super day," are the best they've seen at any Super Bowl.
On a side note, four tons of trash have been removed from Super Bowl Village.