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Fri January 6, 2012
New Orleans Braces for Saints and BCS Championship Crowds
Football will be taking over New Orleans in the next few days. Mayor Mitch Landrieu and others are asking the public to plan for heavy traffic and massive crowds.
The Saints are getting ready for tomorrow's first-round playoff game with the Detroit Lions, while crowds continue celebrating ahead of Monday's BCS Championship. Mayor Landrieu says residents must be prepared to accommodate the quarter-million visitors.
"Personal responsibility is the order of the day. If everybody does what they're supposed to do, if everybody takes care, for example, to leave early then the traffic is likely to be to lighter than it's going to be. If people have a tendency to carpool rather than bring their own car, then the onus on these folks is going to be better. If people handle their personal behavior the way they're supposed to, then it'll be enjoyable. Or they'll see Sheriff Gusman."
Superdome spokesman Doug Thornton says the venue is making some changes to ensure the crowds move smoothly.
"We will not be showing the game on the big screen at Champions Square throughout the night. That will apply for both for the Saints game on Saturday as well as the BCS Championship on Monday night. Obviously, Champions Square is open to the public, but we're encouraging only people with tickets to come down because it will be a very crowded area in and around the Dome."
Traffic will be routed around the Superdome in one-way patterns before and after the games. City Hall will be closed Monday.
Residents who do have to work that day won't find much parking. Lots have been rented for LSU and Alabama tailgate parties.