MPD issues safety alert ahead of Gophers appearance in hockey championship
The Minneapolis Police Department is telling residents and business owners near the University of Minnesota campus to prepare for rowdy hockey fans this weekend.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s hockey team is in the running for its first NCAA championship since 2003, and police expect the excitement from the big game and gorgeous spring weather to attract large crowds to Dinkytown and Stadium Village.
“With outside temperatures expected to be in or near the 70s, residents and visitors will flock outside to enjoy the vibrant neighborhoods of Dinkytown, Stadium Village, and greater SE Minneapolis,” 2nd Precinct crime prevention specialist Abdirashid Ali said in a message Thursday. “This is especially true if the Gophers proceed to the championship game.”
On Thursday, the Gophers beat Boston University 6-2 in the Frozen Four. They will play the winner of the other semifinal game between Michigan and Quinnipiac on Saturday. It will be the Gophers’ first championship appearance since 2014.
Ali reminded business owners to review training with their staff members on how to deal with disruptive or suspicious activity and to avoid serving alcohol to people who are under 21. He also suggested making sure businesses have adequate security on hand for crowd control.
MPD also encouraged landlords to enforce lease provisions on noisy gatherings and have staff and security monitor their properties.
Tony’s Diner has been in Dinkytown since 2002. In fact, the day the building was purchased, Gopher men’s hockey won it all.
“I came down here the next morning, and thank God everything was OK. The place wasn’t burned down,” said Tony Nicklow, owner of Tony’s Diner.
The team won the title again the next year. Nicklow remembers that night.
“It was just complete mayhem here. I’ve never seen anything like it. Kids were going crazy, fans were going crazy, and it was fun until it didn’t get fun anymore,” he said. “Police came and things got out of control.”
Junior Carter Jerde has this message to his fellow students and fans of Gopher men’s hockey:
“You can have fun, but just don’t go around breaking stuff — unnecessary,” Jerde said.
While the hockey team goes for its sixth national title, Nicklow hopes all fans are responsible while celebrating the season.
“Have fun, celebrate, enjoy the moment, but remember, this is home for a lot of people, and we want to keep it that way,” Nicklow said.