INDIANAPOLIS — Thursday is set to be a big day in the Circle City. Eight teams and their fans get the first round of the Men’s NCAA Tournament started at Gainbridge Fieldhouse and it’s St. Patrick’s Day.
With all the fun comes concerns, as well. IMPD and downtown bars are planning extra precautions for the raucous holiday and out-of-town crowds.
“There’s that thin line of fun and rowdy we have to watch out for,” said Jason Mugg, the owner of Nine Irish Brothers on Mass Ave.
For Mugg and his staff, the Thursday festivities bring excitement and nerves.
”It’s been a couple years, as you said, since we did it full go,” he said.
This St. Paddy’s Day will be the first one in two years without restrictions. For Mugg, most of his staff have never worked a full-on celebration, he said they had a meeting Monday to prepare for the crowd.
”It’s definitely going to be a little bit different with the NCAAs going on,” Mugg said.
With hiring challenges over the past few years, Mugg has called on former staff members to come back and help out. He’s grateful they said yes.
“We probably have about seven to eight extra people coming on this Thursday and Saturday,” he said.
They’re also upping security.
”We usually only have one door guy on the weekends,” Mugg said. “St. Patrick’s Day we’ll have three or four all on at one time.”
When it comes to out of town fans, Mugg expects folks to be a little looser than normal.
”It’s a little vacation for them,” he said. “They’re spending money to come out to Indianapolis, they’re spending money to travel out here, they’re going to use every bit of it to have fun.”
Their biggest concerns are making sure people behave themselves and don’t drink too much, so having a few more eyes watching is always a good idea.
”When people see that person walking around, that gives them that reminder that, ‘Okay, I’m being watched, I might want to keep it down a little bit,’” Mugg said.
IMPD is doing the same, IMPD Spokesperson William Young said there will be a bigger presence of officers for the holiday and basketball crowds.
”We have those officers, they will have a uniform presence, as well as, some plainclothes officers out as well,” Young said.
Young said IMPD works with bars downtown to help where they can with crowd control and people having a little too much to drink.
In the past, Mugg said they have had an IMPD officer parked outside 9 Irish Brothers to help keep people under control. He said he notices officers when they’re just out patrolling, as well.
”IMPD does a good job of walking around, they make themselves seen around the avenue,” Mugg said.
Young said all he and IMPD are asking of party-goers Thursday is to drink responsibly and have a good time.