Police prepare for busy weekend in downtown Nashville

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Sports, concerts, a book festival, the circus, and more… Over 200,000 people are expected to be in downtown Nashville this weekend, prompting Metro police to maintain a strong and visible presence.

The Nashville Predators opened their 2016-17 season at Bridgestone Arena Friday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.

On Saturday evening, Tennessee State University will play their annual homecoming game against Eastern Kentucky University at Nissan Stadium. Parking lots will open for the game as early as 7 a.m.

Pop superstar Adele will play two sold-out shows at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday and Sunday nights. Additionally, Chris Stapleton and Lee Ann Womack will perform at Ascend Amphitheater on Friday and Saturday nights.

RELATED: News 2’s downtown Nashville traffic survival guide

The Tennessee Titans will host the Cleveland Browns Sunday at Nissan Stadium. Kickoff is at noon. The Woodland Street Bridge will close to traffic at 9 a.m. and will then be open only to pedestrians and shuttle buses as part of the standard NFL traffic plan.

Nashville ambassadors will also be helping the crowds navigate through the city and keep people safe.

As an ambassador, Jacob Arevalo rides around on a segway downtown and answers questions, gives directors, and keeps an eye out for anything suspicious.

“If I see anything going wrong, I will call the police and report it or flag down a police officer and tell them about it,” said Arevalo.

The Nashville Downtown Partnership is also increasing the number of ambassadors you’ll see downtown.

“You get a little elevation with them. So the people who ride on segways are a little bit taller or higher up so they are easy to spot,” said Thomas Turner the Downtown Partnership CEO.

Downtown leaders say they want everyone to know they should feel safe this weekend.

“When you throw in the fact that we have 13 million visitors per year, violent crimes are incredibly low. Often times you can count them on one hand,” said Turner.

“I feel a scenes of responsibility. It’s my town, as well as everyone else’s, and I want to make sure it’s as safe as it can be,” said Arevaldo.

Those coming downtown this weekend are urged to be mindful of the tens of thousands of persons who will be joining them and to arrive early to find parking.

Ride services such as taxis, Uber and Lyft should be considered. The Music City Star will be providing service for the Titans game.

Metro police will deploy a full complement of officers for this busy weekend, including patrol officers, two shifts of Flex officers, motorcycle officers and officers on horseback. Extra duty officers will work traffic assignments for the various events.

“We knew this weekend would be extremely busy, so we made arrangements months ago to ensure that we would have all available Central Precinct officers on duty,” Commander John Drake said.  “We will be visible throughout the downtown core on foot, on horses, in cars and on motorcycles.  The men and women of this police department are committed to the safety of Nashville’s families and our visitors.”