RNC event at Tropicana Field forces cancellations at USF St. Pete

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The annual freshmen convocation, move-in dates for students and watercraft at USF St. Petersburg have been canceled, changed and grounded in light of new restrictions put in place during the Republican National Convention Kick-Off party at Tropicana Field, reports William Mansell of Patch.

On Aug. 26, 20,000 delegates and members of the media are expected at the home of the Rays for a cocktail party to kick-off the week’s RNC event, which are mostly held in Tampa Bay.

The USF St. Pete campus falls within the 7.4 square mile “Event Zone”, that was proposed by the city and approved during first-reading Thursday by City Council.

Move-in for residential students had been planned for Aug. 25-26, with
freshmen arriving on Saturday and returning students on Sunday. Now, all
residential students will move in on a single day, Saturday, Aug. 25.

The potential conflicts on Sunday also prompted the cancellation of the annual
Freshmen Convocation, originally scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 26 at Harbor Hall, a news release said.

Additionally, watercraft at the USF St. Pete waterfront will not be available all day on Aug. 26.

According to USF St. Pete, changes have been made to avoid potential conflicts with the kick-off party. The school said with street closures it would be difficult to get to and from campus.

The “Event Zone” boundaries are from 7th Avenue S to 5th Avenue North and 22nd Street to Tampa Bay. Inside the zone, what you can carry, what you can wear and where you can go will be restricted.

USFSP will remain open throughout that period and most of the restrictions
will have little impact on the campus, a news release said. The biggest impact will likely be the expected closing of Interstate 175 on Aug. 26.

Classes will start as scheduled on Aug. 27.

Secret Service will release more detailed plans in the coming weeks regarding street closures and resident access close to Tropicana Field.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.