Final Four Madhouse Hits the Valley This Weekend!
The moment we’ve all been waiting for starts this weekend: The NCAA Final Four. Already, we’ve seen road blocks and structures pop up throughout downtown and in Glendale, making it harder to navigate through our busy city streets. Things are only going to get busier as thousands flood downtown and to Glendale, not only for the games, but for the activities that come with them. For our clients, and anyone headed to these events, it’s important to be aware of the potential for criminal charges that come with events of this kind. As we saw during the Super Bowl, prostitution, DUI, assault, and disorderly conduct arrests and charges increase exponentially when major sporting events are hosted in Phoenix. We want everyone to have a blast, but also stay safe! Please read the following to avoid criminal charges and ensure that you will have a great time at the final four this weekend.
Schedule of Events Downtown and in Glendale
One of the major activities starting Friday, March 31, is the Fan Fest at the Phoenix Convention Center. There will be children’s basketball clinics, rock climbing, autograph signings and guest appearances at 100 N. 3rd Street. Already, some of the major roads downtown are closed or diverted and people have already noticed backup on the roadways. The March Madness Music Festival that is featuring Keith Urban, The Chain Smokers, Aerosmith, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at the Margaret T. Hence Park in central Phoenix will host several events throughout the weekend, including the AT&T Block Party, Coca-Cola Music and the Capital One JamFest. This means lots of parties and opportunities to drink, relax and listen to great music all in one place!
Of course, we cannot forget the game days! For those that are lucky enough to have tickets to the games, there will be long lines, difficulty parking, and massive crowds. On Friday, the South Carolina Gamecocks, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Oregon Ducks and the North Carolina Tarheels will be practicing then signing autographs at 1:00 PM. Then, the Semifinals will start on Saturday at 3:00 PM with Gonzaga v. South Carolina and North Carolina v. Oregon starting at 5:30 PM. The National Championship game starts at 6:00 PM on Monday.
Security: Prepare Ahead of Time to Avoid Problems and Delay
Now for the not so exciting news: as we saw at the Super Bowl, security is going to be amped up and police officers are going to be highly concentrated downtown and in Glendale looking to keep both areas safe and crime free. They will be looking for potential DUIs, Assaults, Disorderly Conduct, Public Indecency, and much more. The FBI will also be there watching for potential Federal crimes.
There is a clear bag policy at all events this year in order to keep everyone safe and crime free. Please remember to adhere by this policy in order to remain free of criminal charges. The clear bags must be 12” x 6” x 12” or gallon-sized storage bags. Small clutch purses are allowed. Backpacks, large purses, camera bags, binocular cases, fanny packs, seat cushions, diaper bags, plastic bags with printed patterns, and guns are prohibited. Do not let something like this keep you from enjoying your time at these events. These policies are set up in order to prevent crime and protect the safety of everyone, so we should abide by them.
The Heightened Risk of DUI Charges and How to Prevent These Charges
Also, we have seen an increase in DUI charges due to driving the wrong way in downtown. The one way streets downtown can be confusing, and driving the wrong way on one of them is also a one-way ticket to a DUI investigation. Make sure you get to the events early, know where the designated parking structures are, carpool if possible, or take a Taxi/Uber/Lyft. According to the City of Phoenix, certain areas of Phoenix are designated as pick-up and drop-off locations for ride-sharing services. They are as follows:
- Jefferson Street-Second to First avenues
- Fifth Street- Monroe to Van Buren streets
- Third Street- Jackson to Buchanan streets
- Monroe Street- Second to Third streets
- First Street- Monroe to Van Buren streets
Please use a ride sharing service or a taxi if you have been drinking. Police officers from all jurisdictions will be helping the City of Phoenix and the City of Glendale at these events, so there will be many eyes on the streets. Also, please use discretion when drinking. If you are rowdy, disruptive or aggressive, there could be serious consequences.
The Increase of Sex Crimes Due to Travelers Flooding City
Lastly, be aware that the number of prostitution charges increase when large sporting events come to the valley due to the surge of travelers coming to the game from out of state. With an increase in population, there will be an increase in those offering sex acts for money. Officers know that this is the case and they were shown this just a few years ago with the Super Bowl. If you are planning on using an internet source like Backpage.com to find sex acts for sale during the Final Four, please be aware that officers will be performing sting operations during that time posing as sex workers. Sex crimes can sometimes hold very serious criminal charges. Please contact an experienced attorney immediately if you are facing charges of this kind.
If you or someone you know is facing any of these charges, Castillo Law is available 24/7 to take your call at 480-206-5204.