Minneapolis leaders outline safety plan for Taylor Swift concert, Pride Festival this weekend

(KSTP) – The City of Minneapolis is expecting nearly half a million people to flock downtown this weekend and leaders say a plan is in place to keep them safe.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey discussed the city’s plan on Wednesday for hosting thousands of people in downtown Minneapolis between back-to-back sold-out Taylor Swift concerts at U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday and Saturday nights, and the Twin Cities Pride Festival at Loring Park happening Friday through Sunday.

City leaders are calling this weekend “Operation Swift Summer.” Mayor Frey said the city will be renamed “Swiftieapolis” on Friday in honor of Taylor Swift.

During Wednesday’s announcement, Frey was joined by Minneapolis City and downtown leaders, including Cedric Alexander, Minneapolis’ city community safety commissioner, Heather Johnston, Minneapolis’ interim city operations officer, and others.

“We want people to come into the city and enjoy themselves and have a great time,” Alexander said.

Officials are expanding the city’s 311 non-emergency number so people can call after 7:00 p.m. on Friday. The hours are extended on Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Alexander said over 50 law enforcement partners throughout the region are ready to take swift action if needed.

“911 operators will be at full strength. Fire and EMTs will be key first responders if people have health situations,” he said.

People who work and live downtown are looking forward to a bustling city they once knew.

“I’m very excited. I have a lot of friends flying in from other places to come see Taylor Swift and come to Pride,” Amy Sicard, who works downtown, said.

This wave of events is just one piece of the bigger picture to bring life back to the heart of the city.

“I love Minneapolis. I hope that people can just get a better perception of it,” Sicard said.