Kentucky fans dance around a fire on State Street as they celebrate Kentucky's 69-61 win over Louisville in an NCAA Final Four semifinal college basketball tournament game, Saturday, March 31, 2012, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/The Courier-Journal, Amy Wallot) NO SALES; MAGS OUT; NO ARCHIVE; MANDATORY CREDIT
Fire officials say in the days leading up to the Elite 8 games, code enforcement workers went all over the State Street area, looking for any violations that could lead to problems during the celebration. That is one reason they're considering this past weekend's celebrations a success.
Police estimate about 8,000 crammed on to State Street after Kentucky's Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games. For the most part, they say those crowds behaved. There were about 27 couch fires each night, according to a fire official. However, that number is down significantly from what firefighters saw in 2012. During the Final Four weekend that year, several people lit couches and even vehicles as they celebrated Kentucky wins. They arrested more than 60 people over that weekend in 2012. This weekend, they only had to arrest five.
"It may be that it's fresh in their minds that there are repercussions. There were several prosecutions after the 2012 celebrations. That can follow you through life," said
Assistant Chief Harold Hoskins with the Lexington Fire Department.
Back in 2012, these large scale celebrations only happened during the Final Four weekend. This year, they started after the Sweet Sixteen.
Police and firefighters say they're putting together plans for the upcoming Final Four championship weekend.