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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Indianapolis city leaders lay out public safety plans ahead of NBA All-Star weekend

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City leaders announce public safety plans for NBA All-Star game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. (Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

It’s all hands on deck as Indianapolis gets ready to host the 2024 NBA All-Star game.

City leaders gathered Monday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse to lay out public safety plans, as more than 125,000 people are expected in the city.

Years of planning and preparation have gone into the upcoming All-Star game, postponed due to the pandemic.

Mayor Joe Hogsett says downtown Indianapolis is ready.

“Our city’s first neighborhood will be the venue for concerts, contests, art exhibits and of course plenty of basketball,” Hogsett said.

Large events will be held at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium. Downtown Indy, Inc. has mobilized cleaning crews and safety ambassadors to help prepare the downtown core.

IMPD says it will be fully staffed in all districts, including downtown, to give police greater visibility as fans gather at numerous venues. And the Indianapolis Fire Department will be enforcing crowd control at venues around the city.

Newly-named IMPD Chief Chris Bailey says public safety is the top priority.

“Fans, players, spectators, everyone involved, we want you to have a safe, fun time while in our city…plain and simple,” Bailey said.

Fans are being told to have a plan before heading downtown, as a number of street closures will be in place, especially around the fieldhouse. IndyGo will offer free rides during the All-Star weekend.

Pacers Sports and Entertainment set up a website to help fans navigate the activities.

The last time Indianapolis hosted the NBA All-Star game was in 1985.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org.

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