TCF game days lead to theft

Though UMPD doesn’t expect more crime on game days, MPD prepares for a spike.

Rilyn Eischens

On every Gophers football game day, the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Police Department place more officers at TCF Bank Stadium and the areas surrounding campus in preparation for the large crowds. 
While UMPD doesn’t expect a spike in crime on campus during the football games, Minneapolis police brace for higher off-campus crime rates on those days. 
The University football team kicked off the season against Texas Christian University on Sept. 3. After the game, MPD reported 15 crimes — whereas an average of about three crimes were reported per day from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, the three days leading up to the game.
UMPD reported 12 crimes on game day, only two of which occurred at TCF Bank Stadium. Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said part of the reason the department doesn’t expect an increase is because most crime happens off campus.
“We police on University-owned property, so if you go over to Dinkytown, for example, all the bars and so on are not University property,” Miner said. “Crimes … in that area [are] not UMPD jurisdiction.” 
On game days, UMPD typically patrols the stadium for issues like disorderly conduct and underage drinking, he said, adding that officers usually escort about eight people out of the stadium per game. 
“Later in the day, there are more problems because people have a chance to consume more alcohol,” Miner said.
But MPD sees more crime near the University campus on game days compared to other days, Public Information Officer John Elder said. 
“Anytime that you bring 50,000 or 60,000 people into one area … you are going to have an increase in crime,” Elder said, adding that most of the game day crimes involves theft and intoxication, which are spread over all University-area neighborhoods.
Usually, crime will increase further when the Gophers play a rival team at home, like the University of Wisconsin-Madison or the University of Iowa, Elder said, because there tends to be more visitors at the stadium. 
“Most of the time it’s all really good natured fun, but we are aware that sometimes that does get carried away,” he said. 
While some University students say they feel vulnerable to crime on game days, others enjoy the crowd.
Studies in cinema and media culture junior Mackenzie Veselik  said she feels uneasy on game days and understands why crime would increase, especially after playing a rival.
Still, sustainable systems management and Spanish studies junior Aislyn Keyes said she hasn’t felt the presence of crime after football games.
“I haven’t noticed any issues,” she said. 
Educational psychology and management junior Makayla Imrie said she enjoys seeing a sea of students during stadium events and feels security is tight.
“I think the campus police and the Minneapolis Police Department are pretty present,” she said. “They’re kind of everywhere on those days.”