SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The Bayou Classic match-up between Southern University and Grambling State University kicked off at 1:30 p.m. at Independence Stadium in Shreveport.
This is the first large gathering in the area since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020. The game is expected to bring thousands of fans from across the state into Shreveport-Bossier City.
“I have to make sure there’s parking and make sure nobody gets violent. That’s my job,” Dennis Watson, a security guard for the Louisiana state fairgrounds, said.
With the large number of guests expected to attend, safety is a top priority. This includes COVID-19 safety guidelines being enforced, and safety when it comes to crowd and traffic control.
Shreveport Police Department, with help from the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, Bossier City Police Department and other surrounding agencies, will be present at the game and other festivities involved with Port City Fest on Saturday, April 17.
“The potential for violence is always there no matter what city you are in America, so it is our job to curve those instances the best we can,” said SPD Chief Administrative Asst. Marcus Mitchell. “We do that by showing a presence and by encouraging our citizens to partner with us to, if you see something that’s out of place, let us know.”
Mitchell also emphasized that the Bayou Classic is just one of many events hosted by Shreveport.
“Our officers handle a ton of large events in a non-pandemic era. We do a ton of them from Mardi Gras to the Independence Bowl.”