March Madness Crowds Flow Into Downtown Sacramento For St. Patrick’s Day

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – With the NCAA championship games at the Golden 1 Center and St. Patrick’s Day festivities going on nearby, it was sure to be a colorful evening. 

Downtown Sacramento from Golden 1 Center to midtown was a packed house.

But getting the 30,000 expected basketball fans and thousands more Irish partygoers into downtown isn’t easy.

“I’m going to say this, if you don’t have a bicycle then good luck with the car — especially on nights like this,” said Cliff Nolan who rides a tricked-out bike.

People have a plan and that’s what police say makes this party possible.

“It’s so exciting — just a great environment out here tonight and it’s been like this all day. One of the things you will see is a large presence of officers in Downtown Sacramento, K St. and old town Sacramento,” said Sgt. Bryce Heinlein with the Sacramento Police Deprtment. 

And what a boost for Sacramento’s economy!

It’s Malt & Mash’s first St.  Patty’s day on the K Street block and the owner said it has been a smash.

“It’s phenomenal. It’s the perfect combination…Friday, St. Patrick’s Day, and the NCAA. Everyone is having a real nice time,” said Bob Simpson, owner of Malt and Mash.

Plus it’s not every day two birthday boys meet with St. Patrick’s day cheer.

“It’s your birthday? Come over!” one man said.

“To find somebody else and it’s their birthday, that’s even better right there,” another man cheered.

So far, it’s the perfect mix for downtown where everyone now is seeing the green.

“Malt and Mash have been busy since 9 a.m. and we will be going until 2 a.m., so it will be quite a weekend for us,” said Simpson.

And finally one word of advice for everyone Friday night.

“Don’t drink and drive because, for one,  Sacramento sheriff and the police department are at the top of their game. God bless their souls because they keep us safe,” Nolan said.

More from Jennifer McGraw
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