NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Security is already tight in the French Quarter where preparations are well underway for three days worth of events associated with the College Football Championship game set for Monday night.
Extra police officers are being brought in from as far as the Northshore to assist the New Orleans Police Department and several other agencies.
If you wanted to take a walk on the riverfront at Woldenberg Park you are out of luck.
The park is already fenced off and only people with credentials are being allowed in as they set up for three days worth of concerts and events beginning Saturday.
It is all part of a heavy security plan now being put in place for the National Championship Game that could be made even more complicated by a presidential visit and events overseas.
The New Orleans Police Department is working closely with homeland security. The security contingent is expected to involve hundreds of officers, pulling in agencies like state police, and outside sheriff’s deputies from Jefferson Parish and St. Tammany Parish which is sending in a bomb squad.
"We've had a lot of practice in crowd control, but this is a brave new world," said
LSU Health Criminologist Peter Scharf, who worked with local tourism officials on security plans, which he says are always evolving.
"Especially in the last 4 days, we're living in a brand new world, whatever used to work, I'm not sure we know what we need to know," said Scharf.
The New Orleans Police Department will begin restricting access to the French Quarter beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday night through Monday. Only residents, employees, hotel guests, and taxis, or ride hailing services will be allowed in. And if you’re going anywhere, especially to the game, police urge you to allow extra time, depending on whether the president comes in, and from where.