Posted on March 30, 2012 at 10:12 AM
Friday, Mar 30 at 10:12 AM
AUSTIN -- High school and college athletes nationwide are in Austin for the 85th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. The first track and field events began Friday morning at the Mike Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus.
An estimated 40,000 athletes and their supporters come to Austin for the relays every year. It means a big boost to Austin's economy but also a lot of preparation.
Police say they will add extra patrol downtown and will close roads leading into the 6th Street entertainment district.
In past years safety concerns have been linked to the relays. In 2011 some 6th Street bars even closed their doors. Previously Highland Mall has shut down early during the relays. This year there are plans to stay open.
Austin police have said that there are on average fewer arrests during the Texas Relays weekend than on an average weekend.
A symposium scheduled on Friday night at the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center will include a panel of experts to discuss how racial stigmas linked to events such as the Texas Relays affect and challenge student athletes.
The free public forum is called Moving Past Racial Stigmas to Help Students Succeed, and it lasts from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.