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Lionel Messi mania: Security on top of mind as Union take on Inter Miami FC

Security top of mind for police as Philadelphia Union take on Lionel Messi, Inter Miami FC
Security top of mind for police as Philadelphia Union take on Lionel Messi, Inter Miami FC 02:19

CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) -- With thousands of fans headed to Subaru Park Tuesday night to see the Philadelphia Union take on Lionel Messi and Inter Miami FC in the 2023 Leagues Cup semifinals, safety is the top priority for law enforcement around Chester. 

It's all hands on deck in Chester with tens of thousands of fans expected to fill Subaru Park and the tailgate lots. Police say they're ready to keep them all safe. 

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"We've had several operational meetings," Chester Police Department Commissioner Steven Gretsky said. "I've reached out to several of our counterparts in Delaware County, other jurisdictions for police safety. And I have a full detail in place, interior and exterior."  

Gretsky said his teams have worked some big crowds at Union games and fortunately haven't had many issues. But for Tuesday's playoff match, they're bringing in departments from across the county.  

 They have a total of 10 departments from across the county coming out, Gretysky said.

The team is adding to those safety measures as well. 

"I was on a call last night where we talked about additional security," Charlie Slonaker, the Chief Revenue Officer of the Union, said.   

Slonaker says he expects the stadium to be at capacity – plus a few thousand standing-room-only spectators. And with all those people trying to file into Subaru Park for the 7 p.m. start time, they recommend getting here early. 

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"We're opening up gates two hours early. Normally, it's 90 minutes but I think a lot of people will wanna come in and see warmups," Slonaker said.   

Union officials say the MLS already has a strict screening process for getting into the stadium, so they'll be sticking with that procedure.

And the message from police Tuesday night: get here early, have fun, be safe and cheer on the Union. 

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