DALLAS — While the Dallas Mavericks look to win Game 6 on the road Sunday night, the excitement is building back home.
As with each road game in these finals, there is an official watch party at the American Airlines Center. But unlike the previous events, the Mavs sold tickets for this one — and the event is sold out.
More than 18,000 fans were expected inside the AAC Sunday, with many more likely to party outside in the plaza at Victory Park.
Dallas police said they will have many more officers at and around the arena on Sunday than during previous games. They have been told to plan for the game to be shown on the giant HD screens in the plaza after all, even though team officials initially said that would not be an option.
In any event, Dallas police are bracing for big crowds.
Police had a large group of officers at the AAC for the last thhee home games. Tactical teams are on hand, ready to control the crowds if anything goes wrong during or after the game.
"If they win, there could be a lot of excited people downtown, so in response to that, we're going to ramp it up a little bit more than what you saw at the last game," said Deputy Chief Julian Bernal.
During the the previous finals games, police had problems with some thefts and unruly fans. There were several arrests for public intoxication.
Since alcoholic beverages will be sold at the arena on Sunday night, DPD is ready for that, too.
The biggest concerns for police will be the crowds outside the arena. There are extra patrol officers who will be controlling traffic.
The department has recently dealt with bigger crowds during the Super Bowl and the NBA All-Star Game weekend. They feel they are very prepared for any spontaneous celebrations should the Mavs earn the NBA title on Sunday night.
Dallas police have strike teams with riot gear, and during big events like this they also have those teams ready to go.