More than 100,000 visitors were expected in town this weekend, and that means big changes on the street; roads closed and lots of officers with whistles.
By breakfast time Saturday, Tennessee and Duval Streets were lined in orange and green as fans stake out spots for the Rattler homecoming parade, and those festivities kept motorists off a lot of downtown streets, beginning at 6:30 a.m.
"The city will be literally cut in half from Fourth Avenue to Gaines Street. So if you want to get from one side to the other, you'll have to go Tharpe Street is our recommended route,” said Lt. Mitch Miller.
By noon, you had to contend with a throng of fans heading to the FAMU game at 3 and the FSU game at 3:30, and after the game when fans spilled into the street headed for dance clubs and parties all over town, your favorite side street or meeting place may have been off limits.
"What we try to do is keep the kids moving. If they want to go into a business or establishment that's open, that's fine, but we try to keep them from just pulling off and having their own private party in somebody's parking lot," Lt. Mark Wheeler said.
Governors Square Mall was also be heavily patrolled during and after the game to try to prevent the food fights and disturbances of years gone by, and if all the police officers and sheriff's deputies sound like overkill to you:
"If they think it's overkill, they haven't been there. The reaction we're giving is because of what has happened out there in the past. We are there to ensure that it doesn't happen again," said Sheriff Larry Campbell.
The main trouble spots were Tennessee Street, Monroe, Gaines and Appalachee Parkway. Bottom line, lots of gridlock! Police said if you don't have to go near the universities or downtown, then staying clear of those areas was a good idea.
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