East Lansing prepares for Final Four

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Joe Grimm

Stores, bars and restaurants were preparing for a big business during the Final Four.

Michigan State University will play Texas Tech Saturday in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Michigan State University last appeared in the Final Four in 2015, making its 10th appearance.

Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub is trying to make the experience enjoyable for everyone. Trisha O’Brien Riley has owned Harper’s for 20 years said she loves the energy on game days.

“We pre-sold tickets so we could control the line. That’s one area of control. We can plan out the seating and get people in with reservations. Food orders for the rest of the people will be a tiered affect,” Riley said.

Harper’s will be opening later in the evening to control alcohol consumption.

“I have come to the understanding I could make more money by opening the doors early, I choose not to because I don’t want the pandemonium early. I love people to have a good time, I love Michigan State, I used to go enjoy myself at Dooley’s,” Riley said.

Local police departments are making safety their top priority. Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez said the East Lansing Police Department is teaming up with surrounding police forces.

“We are bringing in a large number of officers from all around the tri-county. We look for celebrations to monitor the crowd. If you are part of being a bystander, you need to leave. We use the catch phrase ‘observing is participating,” Gonzalez said.

Michigan State University Police Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor the department will work to control civil disturbances.

“We have additional officers that are coming in to work the event. We will be working to assist East Lansing Police. When there has been issues within the Cedar Village, we have come to help,” Taylor said.

Police want to remind people that not only are people involved in destructive behavior subject to arrest, Michigan State University can address the situation.

Tipoff is set for 8:49 p.m. If the Spartans win, they will advance to the championship game.