Extra security in place as thousands expected to celebrate Memorial Day, Grizzlies playoff game

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The city of Memphis is gearing up for thousands of people to hit downtown this weekend.

Businesses are expecting large crowds due to the Memorial Day holiday as thousands will fill FedExForum for the Grizzlies playoff game.

“I think everybody is excited to be out of the house post the worst part of the pandemic,” said Jerred Price, president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association.

But Price says the added amount of people can sometimes come with an increase in crime and unwanted activity. Price says dozens of law enforcement officers will be out.

“Trying to keep traffic rolling smoothly with all these events people coming and going,” Price said.

There will be added traffic control points throughout downtown.

“The key point with those traffic control points is they’re not road closures,” Price said. “They’re traffic control points. So, if neighbors or business employees need to get through there they simply need to pull up and say, ‘Hey we live down here we need to get in, or hey we work in here we need to get into this point.'”

Earlier this week the Downtown Memphis Commission said a $5 security fee will be charged Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights to get on Beale Street. The fee won’t start until 10 o’clock.

“It’s to enhance public safety on Beale Street,” said Paul Young, president of the Downtown Memphis Commission. “We want to make sure there’s no overcrowding on the street.”

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