Metro Police in Indianapolis say 51 people were arrested in downtown Indianapolis during Super Bowl festivities on Saturday, Feb. 4
The majority of the arrests, all made between 7:00 p.m. Saturday to 7:00 a.m. Sunday, were for fighting or alcohol-related offenses.
Twenty-five injuries were reported.
Department of Public Safety officials adjusted their security and crowd control plans Saturday after Friday night’s crushing crowds got out of hand.
Other crowd control-related injuries were reported on Friday, Feb. 3.
About 50 people were injured Friday night as an estimated 50,000 concert-goers flooded downtown streets for a free outdoor performance by the band LMFAO.
Two other people were injured Friday separate from the concert-going group. Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub said none of the injuries were serious, most involving shortness of breath or scraped knees.
Overwhelming “human gridlock” at Super Bowl village caused police to rethink crowd control Saturday on the eve of the big game.
The poor weather conditions Saturday might have had something to do with that.
There was bumper-to-bumper traffic on some streets heading into downtown, but as of 10 p.m., police had not reported any injuries or arrests.
Police made a total of 22 arrests Friday night, mostly for public intoxication. One police car was damaged after concert-goers climbed on top of it to get a better view of the stage.
To make more room for people downtown, police closed down some streets completely and others just to inbound traffic. Additional officers were stationed near Super Bowl Village.
Rumors of stampedes, stage collapses and gunshots abounded on social-networking site Twitter as crowds grew Friday, and Straub said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officers investigated them all and found no problems. He said reports of officers using pepper spray, Tasers or force of any kind to control the crowd were all false.
Super Bowl Host Committee spokeswoman Dianna Boyce said despite its overwhelming size, the crowd was good-natured and caused few problems.
“It looked like a lot of people having a good time,” Boyce said. “When you have 200,000 people, you have to continue to keep everyone safe.”
Kaitlyn Blacha of West Lafayette and her friends went downtown to see LMFAO Friday night, but Georgia Street was already so packed that they couldn’t even see the stage. She said the crowd trying to get to the stage was mostly young, drunk, college-age kids. In the span of an hour, she was able to move about a block and was pushed from behind several times.
“At times, I was pinned so tightly I didn’t even have to hold my body up,” Blacha said. “Nobody could turn back. We were just stuck.”