Madison prepares for Badger fan festivities

Police encourage residents to celebrate safely
Madison prepares for Badger fan festivities

The NCAA tournament is heating up with fans nationwide celebrating their team’s victories.

This will be the first time in almost a decade that the Badgers have made it to the Elite Eight. Law enforcement expect a lot of fans will be in downtown Madison Saturday night and are encouraging fans to celebrate safely.

Law enforcement in Madison are expecting a huge turnout for Saturday’s game. The University of Wisconsin Police Department said it will be working with the city to increase patrols during Saturday’s big game.

Marc Lovicott, UWPD public information officer, said alcohol can play a major factor in celebrations getting out of hand.

“In many cases alcohol fuels bad behavior, people decided to make poor decisions because of the alcohol they consumed earlier. Not only are we letting folks know that we are out there in extra patrols for their safety but we also want them to know we are hoping that they use alcohol responsibly.”

Bars like Buck and Badger downtown are also preparing for tomorrow night’s fan fest by increasing staff by 50 percent.

“We will definitely staff up and have the door guys on alert, but we will be prepared for it. We are use to big events downtown,” Buck and Badger owner Jack Sosnowski said.

Despite crowds getting out of hand in the past during large events like Halloween, business owners said they are not concerned about the safety of their stores.

John Hayes, president of Goodman’s Jewelers, said in his 30 years of working on State Street, there have only been two times his store has been damaged due to out of control bar patrons.

“Generally people are pretty respectful, the only incidences are people getting too rambunctious with each other,” he said. “But I haven’t really seen any problems to property.”