LAWRENCE, Kan. — Just hours from tipoff for the NCAA National Championship, the city of Lawrence says it is more than ready for whatever may come its way.
City officials said the last time KU played in the Final four in 2018 helped them a lot.
“This year we’ve made bigger effort and corrected things from that time, and it’s an ongoing process. We continue correcting as we go,” said Porter Arneill with the city of Lawrence.
The city closed down Massachusetts Street from 6th to 11th streets starting at 6 a.m. Monday morning, and it will remained closed until 6 a.m. Tuesday.
Arneill said this is an all-hands-on-deck effort, pulling employees from everywhere to assure all goes smoothly.
“This is really a team effort by everybody, and it’s so important that everybody coming together. We are working with all of our city departments; we’re working with community partners,” he said.
The Lawrence Police Department said they had zero arrests, handed out zero citations and everything went smoothly Saturday, the last time Mass Street found it self to be a sea of crimson and blue.
The city partnered with other nearby law enforcement agencies to make it all come together, bussing In officers for the festivities.
“We got a lot of planning that went into this. Basically it’s wash, rinse and repeat from Saturday, so most of the same agencies will be here — 16 different agencies from all over the area,” Chief Rich Lockhart said.
Lockhart said his agency is more than ready.
“We’ve kind of worked through anything that can happen, any contingencies, so we’re ready for everything,” he said.
But it’s not just the city that is getting ready for the event. Downtown Lawrence Inc. said its teams have been working quickly to accommodate everyone. The organization put out mini golf, cornhole, video board games, sidewalks sales and more so everyone can have fun.
“Downtown Lawrence is the heart of our city. This is where everybody wants to come to celebrate and be tighter for these kind of events,” said Rochelle Marsh with Downtown Lawrence Inc.
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