Brian Kelly (@brpkelly)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The three-day hockey festival known as the NHL’s Winter Classic is almost here, and the only people who may be more ready than area hockey fans are members of the St. Louis Police Department.

With about 50,000 people attending the games Saturday and Monday at Busch Stadium, and tens of thousands heading downtown just to be a part of the atmosphere, Police Chief Sam Dotson says you have be aware of truck-type attacks like we’ve seen in France and Germany. And, he says, they are.

“Clark Street is barricaded off with hard barriers … to make Clark Street between 7th and 8th and Broadway pedestrian-friendly.”

Related story: Winter Classic Transportation and Parking Tips

Busch Stadium, Dotson says, offers its own protection.

“The stadium, in its design, has things in place to keep people from driving into the stadium.”

Dotson says the department’s experience providing security for other large events, including Cardinals’ World Series appearances, helps prepare it for the classic.

“I think it’s on par with those events,” he says. “It puts St. Louis in the national spotlight … if somebody’s looking at events that are going on (this weekend), Time’s Square, Winter Classic, certainly on par with each other.”

Dotson says between the Winter Classic and New Year’s Eve festivities, every available officer will be on duty this weekend.

“It’s difficult to plan for everything,” he says, “but we’ve got a plan in place.”

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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