GAINESVILLE - When the crowds converge on Bobby Gruhn Field in Gainesville Friday for the Kia Motors Friday Night Lights event featuring the Atlanta Falcons, local authorities say they'll be prepared.
Gainesville Police Cpl. Joe Britte said the Gainesville Police Department has been working closely with the Atlanta Falcons to make sure security and crowd control are sufficient for the 10,000 fans expected to show up.
"We'll have approximately 28 officers that will be working that day along with CSC staff - event staff - and also the private security for the Atlanta Falcons," said Britte.
The event at Bobby Gruhn Stadium marks the sixth annual Friday Night Lights for the Atlanta Falcons; the other five scrimmages have been held at Gwinnett County high schools in front of capacity crowds.
Britte said while officers don't expect any emergency situations, they are prepared in case something out of the ordinary does happen.
"We have a supervisor assigned to this detail who's looked at every nook and cranny...of this field and put officers in strategic locations just in case we have to go into an emergency mode," said Britte.
Britte said parking will be an issue, just as it is on a regular football Friday night during the high school season. He said the police department is urging people not to block driveways in the residential areas around the stadium.
Britte said officers will arrive early and stay late for the event. He noted while Friday Night Lights is an exciting event for Gainesville, the officers know they have a job to do.
"Besides being officers, they are fans of the Atlanta Falcons, and they'll take a peek here and there and try to catch some of the practice, but we're here for security purposes and we're going to keep an eye on the crowd," he said.
Kia Motors Friday Night Lights is a free event. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the Atlanta Falcons scrimmage begins at 6:45 p.m.