Final Four fans should plan ahead for rain

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – On the eve of what some may call the biggest weekend for Indianapolis, Mother Nature is trying to rain on the parade.

Storm clouds have been looming over central Indiana much of Thursday and more rain is expected Friday.

But event organizers aren’t going to let the weather get in the way of making sure everyone visiting downtown this weekend has a fun and safe time.

Whether people were visiting or just returning to Indy at the Indianapolis International Airport, the NCAA and others have rolled out the welcome mat to all setting foot in the Hoosier state.

“I’ve always enjoyed my time here even though I’m a Michigan State fan,” said Steve Leonardi was had just arrived from Boise, Idaho.

“We’re from Alaska,” said Detlef Morrison while standing alongside his wife Rachel Cella. “So I don’t know a lot about Indiana but I’m pleased to be here. So far it seems nice.”

“Weather’s great,” Cella added.

The sun was shining when she said that but it didn’t last long. Clouds were closing in on Indy, but the rain let up enough to give crews some much needed relief as they pieced together the last bits of the NCAA March Madness Music Fest.

“These are pros out here,” said John Dedman, Indiana Sports Corp VP of Communications, of the workers. “They scheduled accordingly and worked through some of the elements.”

More rain is expected early Friday, so visitors should be prepared for the field at White River State Park to get a little muddy.

“It is a rain or shine event. We have (been) working with public safety and some other partners just to monitor the situation in terms of whether it’s weather, security issues that might arise,” said Dedman.

If a situation should arise, the National Weather Service will be on hand to advise security officials what to do next.

The NWS will be stationed at the downtown Incident Command Center, where law enforcement will have a close eye on the crowds thanks to surveillance cameras and another looking towards the sky.

“To be able to bring in more resources here on site in terms of the national weather  and others is just another example of how they’re great at what they do,” said Dedman.

If dangerous weather, like high winds or lightning, is bearing down on the festival then it’s possible the fest will shut down.

But that won’t be the case for rain. Because of that, music fans should dress accordingly with rain jackets or ponchos. Umbrellas are not allowed at the music fest since they can obstruct people’s view.

Organizers suggest parking in the lots and garage on the IUPUI campus. It’s a short a walk away and cost $10 for the entire day.