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Extra cops for Indy Super Bowl

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Dozens of extra police officers will be on hand to help motorists navigate restricted streets and city buses will offer free rides to help visitors and workers as an expected 100,000 fans descend on downtown Indianapolis for Super Bowl week.

The Super Bowl Host Committee on Thursday unveiled its traffic plan for the two weeks leading up to the Feb. 5 game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“We want to make sure everybody enjoys the event, it’s a safe event,” said Deputy Police Chief Mike Bates.

The committee’s Lori Miser said several streets will be restricted or partially closed throughout downtown beginning Jan. 19, particularly in the vicinity of Lucas Oil Stadium and the nearby Super Bowl Village. Restrictions will be minimal at first, but will be ramped up gradually as game day approaches. The south side of Monument Circle also will be restricted on certain days, officials said.

Organizers said the Indianapolis Super Bowl will be different from many past ones because the game and related events all will be downtown, instead of scattered across several miles.

Bates said it’s the first time Indianapolis, home of the Indy 500 that draws an estimated 300,000 fans for one day each May, has hosted an event of this magnitude.

“Everybody seems to think that it’s just a game, what’s the big deal? It’s more than just a game, it’s a 10-day event,” he said.

Bates said 80-100 extra police officers will be stationed on downtown street corners to direct traffic on key days. Miser said the city bus service will offer three rides on Super Bowl Sunday and for the three days before the game.

Between 100,000 to 150,000 fans are expected to attend the game or pregame events, and officials say another 100,000 work downtown. And they’ll all need someplace to park. Super Bowl organizers say there are an estimated 88,000 parking spaces downtown.

Organizers said the NFL has made arrangements with most downtown parking garages for fans, and downtown parking lots may charge event parking prices at times in the week leading up to the big game.

Miser said organizers had contacted big downtown employers like Eli Lilly & Co. and asked them to have workers work from home or stagger their work hours whenever possible in the week before the game to minimize downtown congestion. Carpooling was also suggested, and organizers said a $2 shuttle service would be offered at three locations.

She said officials were recommending two alternate routes to help travelers bypass the downtown area. One circles the area clockwise, the other counter-clockwise. Major interstates will be open during the Super Bowl period, organizers said.

Online:

Know Before You Go: http://www.IndianapolisSuperBowl.com