Planning for the NBA All-Star Weekend, From the Parties to the Dallas Police Department

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The in-box is filling up with NBA All-Star Weekend party announcements -- no actual invites, though, which is just as well, as that's the weekend I'm planning a spiritual retreat or a lost weekend of drinking, either/or. The most recent: a three-day "epic extravaganza" spread out at the Ghostbar and The Boardroom that's supposed to feature the likes of Snoop Dogg, Common, Doug E. Fresh and Paul Pierce, among others. Which is in addition to something called Babes and Ballers benefiting Laptops for the Wounded at TePheJez on February 11 that's supposed to feature Hangover star Bradley Cooper (wonder if he knows). We'll have a much more complete All-Star Guide in next week's paper version of Unfair Park. I know, right?

On a very related note, the Dallas Police Department just sent a press release headlined: "Let the Games Begin: 2010 NBA All-Star Game Preparations in Dallas." Fun fact: That Bank of America "wrap" is the world's largest! Jump for that.
Let the Games Begin
2010 NBA All-Star Game Preparations in Dallas


Overview:

The 2010 NBA All-Star Game will be hosted by the Dallas Mavericks and the North Texas Basketball Local Organizing Committee, Inc. on February 14, 2010 at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Many of the NBA sponsored events will be held in the City of Dallas from Wednesday, February 10th through Sunday, February 14th. There will be over 50 sponsored events and we anticipate, based upon prior history, an even greater number of "spontaneous" non-NBA sponsored events and parties the days and nights prior to the actual game. Events in Dallas include the NBA All-Star Jam Session which will occupy the entire Dallas Convention Center with anticipated attendance in excess of 20,000 visitors. Several other events will take place at the American Airlines Center to include the televised NBA All-Star Saturday Night, among others.

Ten major hotels in or near downtown Dallas have been contracted to house players, VIPs, several NBA and media events. The Hyatt Regency will house the All-Star Game players and some sponsored NBA celebrations. All NBA contracted hotels have traffic plans to manage busses and limos. The individual hotel traffic management plans have been developed by the Dallas Police Department with input from NBA sponsors and hotel management for each property. Some streets will be closed briefly to accommodate the traffic patterns for individual hotel events; however these episodic street closures should not adversely impact normal traffic. The Public Safety team has conducted hotel walkthroughs which have proven to be invaluable in developing our emergency preparedness and contingency plans.

Public Safety Planning:

Planning efforts began several months ago with meetings among Police, Fire / EMS, Emergency Management, NBA officials, various city departments and external partners. The Police and Fire departments are working to complete Event Action Plans (EAPs) for each NBA sponsored event. The EAPs include public safety objectives, personnel assignments, communication plans, and medical plans for each event. These EAPs will be distributed to all Public Safety personnel for situational awareness. An Incident Command structure has been established as the City's central organizational plan.

A Medical Committee has been established. The Committee has established communications protocols, reviewed major casualty plans, and alerted hospitals involved with any potential major casualty response of the pending NBA All-Star Week events.

We have held four weekly tabletop disaster exercises with different potential scenarios involving over 60 public safety personnel participating at each exercise.

Operations:

The City Hall's Emergency Operation Center (EOC) will be activated and serving as the lead Command Post for the NBA All-Star Week events. Over 30 public safety and city department personnel will staff the EOC for most of the week. To support the coordinated leadership approach, the EOC staffing includes representatives from Police, Fire, Emergency Management, various city departments as well as federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and private sector partners. The Dallas EOC has fire and police dispatch capability, radio communications with city departments, and the situational awareness software (E-Team). Video teleconferencing will be used for briefings and situation summaries with Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas Police field command posts. Some hotels will have forward command posts to support situational awareness and to assure a quick action response can be sustained.

The NBA is establishing a credentialing identification system to support event access. The identification system will include city employees and public safety personnel who need access to any of the event sites or hotels.

Business Issues:

On October 28, 2009 the City Council authorized the City Manager to enter a Trust Fund Agreement with the Local Host Committee. This action followed the City Council's prior action as an endorsing municipality for purposes accessing the Major Events Trust Fund established by state statute. The City's budget for support of the NBA All-Star week is $1.73 million.

Additionally, the City developed under the Special Events Code a "clean zone" in a large part of the downtown area. A clean zone prohibits non-NBA sponsored advertising or giveaways in that area. We will also be monitoring "ambush marketers" (sells of unofficial products or competing products). Police will issue warnings, citations, and ultimately seizures for violators.

Three buildings (Bank of America, the Hyatt Regency, and the Renaissance Hotel) will have major "building wraps" placed on them. The Bank of America wrap is supposed to be a world record in size and we are advised that the Guinness Book of World Records will so note it.

Super Bowl XLV:

The NBA All-Star Week Executive Planning Team has overseen the basic process for these plans. That team is led by First Assistant City Manager Ryan Evans and includes First Assistant Chief of Police David Brown, Assistant Fire Chief Gene Campbell, Convention Center Director Frank Poe, and Emergency Management Director Kenny Shaw. We will review the After Action Report following the NBA game events and begin the planning process for Super Bowl XLV soon.

Goal:

Our overall goal is to make Dallas accessible and safe for those visiting our city throughout NBA All-Star Week. It is our honor to be a part of this and we have been working diligently to make this a success for all.

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