SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Between a Bernie Sanders’ rally and a Thunderbirds game scheduled for Friday night, expect downtown to be very crowded and parking to be limited.
“This is exactly what we want for downtown Springfield. At least 4,000 people are expected in the area for the Thunderbirds and the rally for Bernie Sanders,” Sean Dolan, General Manager for the MassMutual Center told 22News.
The Democratic presidential candidate will be in downtown Springfield Friday, just four days before Super Tuesday.
He chose to have his rally at the MassMutual Center, the same night the Thunderbirds are having a game. Dolan told 22News that the rally should be enjoyable for all visitors.
“We’re making sure we are ready to go working with Bernie Sanders’ team to make sure we have event produced and ready and making sure the crowd is having a good experience and we are working with the city,” said Dolan
Sanders will hold his rally at the Exhibit Hall A and B at the MassMutual Center. Whether you’re attending the rally or the Thunderbirds game, expect it to be very busy and get here early. Nathan Costa, the Springfield Thunderbirds President told 22News that the game and rally have made parking slim.
“It’s a challenge, the parking garage fills up early and especially on a night like this, so I think you just need to plan a little bit in advance,” Costa said.
Springfield Mayor Sarno said police will be around the MassMutual Center to help improve traffic flow, but they are asking for patience from both drivers and visitors. Tens of Thousands of people are expected to be at the MassMutual Center for the two events.
Mayor Sarno said the last time Sanders held a rally in Springfield in 2016, more than 5,000 people attended. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the rally, and its expected to begin around 7:30 p.m.