LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Basketball, ‘Swifites’, and a whole lot of traffic: Nevada State Police (NSP) is doubling its weekend staffing ahead of two large events near the southern portion of the Las Vegas Strip.
Public Information Officer Ashlee Wellman said troopers will be “all over the valley” in anticipation of over a hundred thousand sporting and music fans traveling to and around T-Mobile Arena and Allegiant Stadium. It includes increased enforcement near the California state line.
“We are anticipating a high volume of tourists coming to town,” Wellman said inside the NSP Southern Command Office Thursday morning. “We’re bringing troopers in for overtime specifically for this weekend to do driving under the influence (enforcement), another grant that’s funded by Office at Traffic Safety, as well as the speed (enforcement) from Joining Forces.”
She added a typical weekend swing shift has 10 to 15 troopers on duty. This weekend, there will be an additional 15 troopers on these shifts.
Though, traffic headaches could consume the southern portion of the Las Vegas Strip, especially with the proximity of the two venues and ongoing ‘Dropicana’ construction on the nearby Tropicana bridge over I-15.
In a statement, a Nevada Department of Transportation spokesperson wrote:
“We encourage concertgoers to plan their routes and parking ahead of time, use Waze to reroute around traffic in real-time, and consider carpooling, rideshares, and mass transit when possible.”
At T-Mobile Arena, 19,000 people are expected for Saturday’s games, according to MGM Resorts Public Relations Executive Director Scott Ghertner. He added that may change pending the results of Thursday’s games.
At Allegiant Stadium, hoards of Taylor Swift fans occupied the parking lot for an early merchandise sale Thursday, ahead of the back-to-back Friday and Saturday shows. A source close to the events told 8 News Now that 50,000 to 55,000 thousand attendees are anticipated per night.
Fans like Emilie Ouffoue, a Seattle native who secured tickets for one of the Las Vegas shows, are planning their transportation ahead of time.
“Taylor Swift is my mother,” Ouffoue jokingly said with hundreds of dollars of merchandise in hand. “I scheduled a Lyft for after the show to pick me up to help with that. Probably will still sit in traffic, but at least I’ll be, like, in a car and not just, like, sitting on the sidewalk.”
MGM Resorts is directing March Madness attendees to park at any MGM property. Allegiant Stadium has limited parking, though its website shows the nearest rideshare lots are located at the Luxor and Mandalay Bay Hotels & Casinos, a short walk to the stadium on the Hacienda Bridge.
A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson told 8 News Now “It’s like any other night in Las Vegas” and are patrolling, as usual, during the busy weekend.
NSP additionally urged drivers to slow down, pay attention and arrange prior transportation if drinking.
“We want everyone to have a good time when they come here, but you have to do it responsibly,” Wellman said.