The excitement of March Madness will bring thousands of basketball fans from across the country to downtown Omaha this weekend. But just like any large scale event, it’s important for the community to engage in public safety.
The Omaha Police Department, along with the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority, is offering the following advice to help ensure all patrons have a fun and safe experience at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
1. There is a strict “no re-entry” policy.
On Friday night, CenturyLink Center Omaha will host two games – first Kansas versus Clemson, followed by Duke and Syracuse. One ticket gains access to both games and each ticket may only be scanned once.
Therefore, OPD and MECA would strongly advise against purchasing unverified tickets between games, as there is no way to be certain a ticket has not already been scanned.
Anyone who attempts to enter the facility with a previously scanned ticket will not be admitted.
2. Buyer Beware!
In general, MECA never recommends purchasing tickets for this or any event from either individuals or third-party brokers. The NCAA and its ticket exchange program, operated by PrimeSport, are the only verified March Madness ticket sellers. Errors or problems encountered with tickets purchased through any other third-party source cannot be resolved by MECA or its staff.
3. Don’t make it easy for thieves.
Omaha Police Officers will be patrolling downtown Omaha throughout the weekend; however there are steps that can be taken to help prevent crime. The best way to deter a vehicle break-in is by storing valuables out of sight. The public is reminded that with an increase in foot traffic, comes increased opportunities for theft. Omaha Police encourage visitors to be certain their vehicles are locked, and belongings are concealed, so as to not draw the attention of potential thieves.
4. See something, say something.
The Omaha Police Department is encouraging all patrons to practice extra vigilance this weekend, and urges the public to immediately report any suspicious behavior or unattended items to nearby officers, or by calling 911.
5. New security measures are in place at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
MECA recently installed 50 walk-through metal detectors throughout CenturyLink Center Omaha that will be in use this weekend. Gaining access to the facility will look a little different; patrons will now line up outside the building before passing through security. However, removing metal items (such as keys) from pockets will help speed up the entry process.
Additionally, concrete barriers are now placed outside CenturyLink Center Omaha to provide extra protection to high pedestrian-traffic areas.
Reminder: clear or small bags ONLY!
Bags permitted inside CenturyLink Center Omaha include:
- Clear plastic bags, measuring 12 inches tall, 12 inches long, and 6 inches wide
- Small or clutch-sized purses or wallets, not exceeding 4.5 inches tall by 6.5 inches long
- One-gallon, clear plastic freezer bags are permitted
- One bag is permitted per person
- Exceptions will be made for bags of medical necessity after a brief search
Weapons of any kind are among the banned items at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
MECA managed parking lots will open at 2:30 P.M. The public is invited to park in Lots B and C for a fee of $8 per vehicle. ADA parking is on a first come, first serve basis. Venue doors will open at 4:30 P.M., approximately 90 minutes before tip-off on Friday. There will be more information on Sunday’s game at a later time. OPD and MECA thank basketball fans for practicing increased vigilance this weekend, as the public can serve as beneficial additional eyes and ears for police officers. We join the city in welcoming guests and teams from near and far, and look forward to an exciting and safe weekend.
Media Inquiries: contact the Omaha Police Department Public Information Office at 402-444-5267, OPDMediaRelations@cityofomaha.org; or Kristyna Engdahl, MECA Director of Communications at, firstname.lastname@example.org.