LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - University of Louisville campus police have recent mob attacks on the waterfront in Louisville on their minds when planning for the large groups of people who could gather Friday night. That's when the Cards take on the Cats and as we know, fans have a history of celebrating en masse.
Almost as legendary as the Cards and Cats on the basketball court are the celebrations by fans of both schools after a big win. When the Cards won the national championship last year, Cardinal Towne erupted. The year before, Cats fans flooded Lexington streets and torched a piece of household furniture or two when UK brought the national title home.
UofL Police Lieutenant Colonel Kenny Brown says there's a distinction between celebrating in a group and being destructive.
"If you're celebrating and you're making a lot of noise, that's very acceptable and you want people to be excited over something like that," Brown said.
Brown knows it's safe to say these scenes will play out in one Kentucky city again late Friday night.
"They're coming out of their dorms as fast as they can," said Brown. "They just all want to get together and celebrate."
Luckily now, campus police have practice keeping it all under control.
"We're looking at what went right last year, what went wrong last year and how we can improve on it," said Brown.
Plans are already in place to shut down Cardinal Boulevard between 3rd and 4th Streets Friday night. UofL has called on Louisville Metro Police, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Louisville Metro Corrections and Louisville firefighters to be on hand to keep things from getting out of hand.
"I think when it turns violent or it turns when you're starting to tear things up, that's where it becomes unacceptable," said Brown.
Lexington police said Tuesday they plan a similar show of force and in addition, will be monitoring 400 surveillance cameras installed around campus.
Celebrations in Louisville in the past haven't been just restricted to the campus area. Metro Police say they do have detail working Friday night that will be paying especially close attention to the Baxter Avenue corridor, 4th Street, the Waterfront and West Broadway. Those officers will be very mobile so they can respond to areas where problems my pop up.
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