By: KDKA-TV’s Erika Stanish
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Public Safety is upping patrols for watch parties and celebrations when the Pitt Panthers take on Wake Forest in the ACC Championship game.READ MORE: Bitter Bus Stop Mornings: To Cancel, Delay, Or Keep School Open?
While the game is in North Carolina, Public Safety said it expects large crowds Saturday, especially in Oakland and on the South Side.
“There’s definitely going to be a lot of people watching the game,” Pitt student Matthew Burdette said.
Pitt students and fans were already fired up for the ACC Championship on Friday night and told KDKA they have no doubts that Pitt will bring home the title.
“I’m excited to watch them destroy Wake Forest,” Pitt student Max Coburn said.
“I think Pitt wins 42-38. That’s my bold prediction, Kenny is going to lead us to victory, no question,” Pitt student Shawn Metcalf said.
“The prediction? 47-35 Pitt,” Chuck Bonasorte said, a Pitt fan and member of the 1976 National Championship team.READ MORE: Search For Suspects Continues After Student Killed In Shooting Outside Oliver Citywide Academy
Bonasorte said he bleeds blue and gold and believes while the game may be close, the Panthers will come out on top.
“They got Kenny Pickett, the fundamental, the main part of it. We got great wide receivers. The line is starting to mature. We got three or four young running backs. The defense is starting to mature from earlier in the year when a couple of things happened. I think we’re coming all full face,” Bonasorte said.
Watch parties and celebrations are planned throughout Oakland and the South Side.
Pittsburgh police will have extra officers on patrol along with its mounted, motorcycle, bicycle and K-9 units. Firefighters and paramedics, as well as University of Pittsburgh and state police, will also help.
On top of extra patrol, there will be temporary light towers placed in busy areas, Public Safety said.
The department is also reminding residents about upholstered furniture and mattresses ordinances, saying furniture isn’t allowed outside unless it’s the evening before trash collection.
“We appreciate that this is a big game for Pitt and that many more fans than usual will likely be coming out to support the team and hopefully celebrate a win. However, there will be zero tolerance for property damage or violence of any kind, and police will be on high alert for impaired drivers,” Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said in a press release.
If Pitt wins, not only will they be the ACC Champions, but they’ll head to one of New Year’s Six bowls.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Weather: Frigid Temperatures Wrap Up The Week
The kickoff on Saturday is at 8 p.m. at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.