President Donald Trump’s visit to Fort Wayne is gearing up to be massive. The Memorial Coliseum’s general manager said it may be the biggest event the venue has ever had.
The Allen County Office of Homeland Security held an initial planning meeting Tuesday with more than a dozen city, county, state and federal agencies.
The mission was to introduce the scope of security for Trump’s visit on Monday, November 5.
Eight law enforcement agencies were in attendance including the Fort Wayne Police Department, Allen County Sheriff’s Office, Purdue University Fort Wayne Police, Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Public Safety Department, Indiana State Police, The FBI, The Secret Service and Norfolk Southern Railroad police. Other agencies included Fort Wayne Fire Department, Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, Consolidated Communications Partnership (911 call center), and the 122nd Fighter Wing (Indiana Air National Guard).
As of now, the agencies do not know when or where exactly Trump’s airplane will be landing, what route his motorcade will take to the Coliseum, or how any of this will impact road conditions. They’re also keeping most security details under a tight wrap.
Allen County Homeland Security director Bernie Beier said they will have a complete plan within 48 hours of the meeting, ready for any changes that are sure to come their way.
“It’s big,” he said. “It’s the largest event we’ve had. We’ve had similar events with all the same pieces. So all the different parts of this visit, we’ve done before just on a different scale. So, the moving parts are similar. The tasks are similar and the functions that we have to perform are similar. We just have to adapt for the requirements of a sitting president.”
The Coliseum’s executive vice president and general manager Randy Brown said there could be upwards of 20,000 people at the rally. The arena itself only holds 13,000.
So, they’re preparing to open up the expo floor for overflow.
“It has potential to be one of our largest, if not the largest, event we’ve hosted,” he said. “This is a history-making day for our community. It’s not every day you have the president of the United States coming to Fort Wayne and to the Memorial Coliseum.”
The last sitting presidents to speak at the Coliseum were Gerald Ford in 1976 and Richard Nixon in 1970. Ronald Reagan visited the City of Fort Wayne in 1982.
To get tickets to the rally, visit Trump’s website. Tickets are free. Individuals may only register for up two tickets per mobile number per event. All tickets are subject to first come first serve basis.