Cleveland Police ready for NCAA tournament and St. Patrick's at the same time

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - This year the St. Patrick's Day celebration in downtown Cleveland will have some 30,000 to 40,000 extra spectators as Quicken Loans Arena hosts the NCAA Wrestling Championships Thursday through Saturday of next week.

This creates an extra challenge for Cleveland Division of Police who say they are ready for both massive crowds.

"Yes, the Division is aware of the tourney coming here during St. Patrick's Day weekend. We have a detailed security plan in place as we do for all large scale events," according to Cleveland Detective Jennifer Ciaccia.

The two-day event will collide with two sessions of wrestling on Saturday.

The first Saturday session will be at 11 a.m. and the second at 7 p.m. but there is a break in the middle.

That means as 30,000 wrestling fans are exiting The Q they will spill into the end of the parade madness downtown.

"The parade route will be fully staffed and we will have patrols out in the entertainment districts throughout the weekend. We do not release numbers or tactical information for security reasons," Ciaccia said.

This kind of thing has happened before.

It was 2011 when March Madness basketball was at the Q on the same day as St. Patrick's Day.

Rounds one and two were played in Cleveland, and included top-seeded Ohio State.

For those games there were 20,000 fans in attendance.

This year for the wrestling tournament they expect 30,000.

Cleveland 19 News also contacted the St. Louis Police Department, which had to handle both events last year.

"While we did have a St. Patrick's Day Parade during the NCAA Wrestling Championship, it was not in our downtown area where the tournament was held. We did not have any significant incidents or issues with these two events," according to Michelle Woodling with the St. Louis Police Department.

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