Dinkytown businesses prepare for Saturday crowds

MINNEAPOLIS - Businesses in Dinkytown are preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best Saturday night when the Gophers men's hockey team plays for the national championship.

"Hopefully someone doesn't throw something through the window," said Mesa Pizza employee Laura Saxton. "We're very nervous."

Mesa Pizza is just one of a handful of businesses KARE 11 spoke to who are bringing in extra staff to handle big crowds Saturday night.

Thursday night crowds got unruly when the Gophers won in dramatic fashion over rival North Dakota. Businesses wonder what people might do if the team wins the whole thing on Saturday.

"We're getting extra security guards. We're having them come in really early. We're going to have some extra employees here at the store as well," said Saxton.

Mesa Pizza along with other bars and restaurants were forced to close early Thursday night into Friday morning because of the crowds.

"It doesn't take many, but a few and then all of a sudden it gets out of control," said Mike Mulrooney, own of Blarney Irish Pub and Grill.

He suspected his business lost up to $8,000 because they closed two hours early.

It was a similar story down the block at the Qdoba Mexican Grill, according to owner Randal Gast.

"It would have been a very nice Thursday night," said Gast.

He said he is more worried about his employees' safety. That's why he told them to take extra precautions Saturday night.

"Don't let anything get out of hand. Call the local police if you need help and just be more diligent than usual," he told them.

Warnings also came from fellow students who called Thursday's display by several students embarrassing.

"I just think there are so many better ways to celebrate than trashing our home, trashing the place that we live," said U of M Class President Mike Schmit.

University officials said there would be about 300 police officers patrolling the area to make sure things don't get out of hand.

"If you win the game, people are smiling and dancing in the streets. You don't suddenly gain a few more points on your opponent by being a moron," said City Councilman Jacob Frey who represents the Dinkytown area.


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