Businesses, police prepare for pandemonium if Gophers take hockey title

Pandemonium is expected on and around the University of Minnesota campus if the Gophers earn a national championship on the ice tomorrow night.

Stadium Village and Dinkytown are pretty popular on any weekend night, but Saturday could take it to another level and businesses hope they’re ready for it.

"We are expecting it to be absolutely crazy," said Carly Leighton, a manager at Sally’s Saloon.

The bar and restaurant scores a natural hat trick Saturday with a weekend, its just off campus location, and a University of Minnesota hockey championship game.

"I mean, everybody is so excited," Leighton said. "Campus is fired up. The staff is fired up. We are just excited for a great night."

They’re offering a special Saturday Happy Hour before the game and installing GoPro cameras to catch fan reactions while the Gophers are on the ice.

"This place absolutely erupts every time the Gophers score," said Luke Overton, who works at Stub & Herb’s. "You can’t hear anything for a couple minutes."

They’re offering drink specials, too, and their watch party might have an even stronger hockey connection.

An old sign from Mariucci Arena leads into the bar and Gopher Hockey players used to live upstairs.

In Dinkytown, fans got last minute Gopher gear at Goldy’s Locker Room Friday.

"I’m a man of culture," said Josh Geiger, a curriculum developer at the university’s School of Social work. "I needed to get a t-shirt."

Geiger won’t be going to a watch party.

He already had a work trip to Tampa next week and when Minnesota took a 4-2 lead Thursday night, he bought a ticket to the championship game.

"There wasn’t a lot of intentionality," he said. "It feels like one of those things where fate is converging on me. And this is a golden moment for me."

"A Golden Gopher moment?" a reporter asked.

"A Golden Gopher moment," Geiger said. "Let’s go. Ski U Mah."

Business managers just off campus know about fans rioting when the Gophers won their last championship 20 years ago, but they’d rather not talk about it.

They’re rooting for a win and controlled chaos.

"I hope everybody keeps their cool and just enjoys themselves after the win," said Overton.

Minneapolis police told us they’ve increased staffing for Saturday, just in case.

And they say officers will be visible near the campus, just like they were after last night’s game.