St. Louis officials, businesses prepare for Donald Trump's visit - KMOV.com

St. Louis officials, businesses prepare for Donald Trump's visit

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Monday, March 7, 2016, in Madison, Miss. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Monday, March 7, 2016, in Madison, Miss. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

It's the start of a major political weekend in St. Louis and Donald Trump is expected to draw a huge crowd for a rally at the Peabody Opera House Friday.

Doors will open at the Peabody at 9 a.m. Friday, there was already a slight police presence at what will be the stomping ground for Trump and his supporters Thursday night. Protesters are expected to also attend the event.

Security is a top concern and involves not just local law enforcement, but the Secret Service, too. Both agencies will be working together to ensure everyone is safe.

"The sole purpose is to provide a safe and secure environment for the candidate to express his views and for his supporters and the people who want to come and listen to him and support him and have an event without incident," said security expert Patrick J. McCarthy.

McCarthy said the Secret Service is in charge of the security detail.

"The Secret Service in my experience is a top flight organization, run very well. They have portions of the protective effort down to a science. They are very well respected in the free world and they partner with their counterparts in the local police departments," he said.

With so many people expected in a concentrated area, traffic could be a concern for people who live or work downtown. St. Louis Traffic Commissioner Deanna Venker said there are currently no plans for street closures.

"As things progress if Secret Service has any inquires or requests, the police department will make those calls and we will react accordingly to them. This is kind of an old hat for us, every time we have a Democratic National Convention or World Series, we are really good at pulling our resources together and being flexible in adjusting to the situation at hand," said Venker.

Trump is expected to fill all 3,000 seats at the Peabody, and some businesses are banking on a sell out.

"We go where the people are. Where there's either sports, political people coming in town that's where we want to be," said general manager of The Hard Rock Cafe, Tara Ashbecker.

Ashbecker said as soon as Trump made it official he was coming, her team got a game plan going.

"We have our street teams activated to go out and put something in people's hands representing Hard Rock, they are going to come down and have a burger and fries and have a good time with us at the Hard Rock," she said.

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