ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - If you thought the Republican National Convention would only tie-up traffic in Tampa, you're wrong.
"I had no idea, so it's kind of a sucker punch off-guard," said Five Bucks Drinkery bartender James Coombs.
From bartenders, to downtown commuters and University of South Florida St. Petersburg students, security road closures and parking restrictions around Tropicana Field will be a challenge.
"It's not just the parking. It's the access in and out of the campus. On that day, it's going to be very difficult to get around downtown St. Petersburg," said Tom Scherberger, Communications Director at USF St. Pete.
On Sunday, the Trop will host an RNC kick-off party -- what's been billed as a cocktail party for 20,000 including delegates.
The invite-only event will shut down Interstate 175 and part of 5th Avenue South just as USF St. Pete starts its first week of classes.
"Unfortunately, we have had to cancel convocation which is an annual event. The students look forward to it," said Scherberger.
Dozens of other roads around downtown St. Petersburg will be shut down too, though parts of Central Avenue will remain open. Curbside parking near the Vinoy Hotel and two other nearby hotels will be closed-off.
Across from the Trop, Ferg's Sports Bar and Grill will host a Ron Paul campaign party for 1,500 on their patio.
"We hired a security team. We've been instructed by Secret Service and St. Pete Police how to handle this," said General Manager Peter Hodgdon.
Ferg's will stay open but Hodgdon says they'll take food and drink shipments early.
"This is not a bigger crowd than we've ever had. The World Series is a bigger crowd than that so we know what we can do," he said.
But others like Coombs say they've got planning to do to find detours.
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