Vice President Pence to hold rally in St. Paul during boys' hockey tournament

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The Minnesota Boys' High School Hockey Tournament is always a test for the city of St. Paul in terms of crowd control and parking.

This year, there will be an added challenge as Vice President Mike Pence will host a campaign rally during the tournament.

"It is unusual in that sense," says St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders. "But, on the other hand, we are the state's capital city, and we are used to hosting large-scale events and have lots of people come here for a lot of different reasons."

Still, the vice president's visit on Thursday, March 5, is right in the middle of the tournament's busiest day. The Class AA quarterfinals will likely have 19,000 hockey fans for the early session between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Then, another 19,000 fans will likely be at the evening session from 5:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. 

The doors open for the Pence event at the Intercontinental Hotel four blocks down Kellogg Boulevard at 3 p.m., and the vice president speaks at 5 p.m.

Linders says St. Paul police are in the early stages of planning for the two events, including possible road closures and security requirements for the vice president.

He offers some common-sense advice.

"Leave early," to get to whichever event you're going to, he says. "Leave room for some adjustments. You might need to make a move if roads are closed or if they're backed up because of the vice president's visit."