UF, police prepare for white nationalist Richard Spencer's speech Thursday

The Phillips Center Tuesday. (WGFL)

The University of Florida and local police plan to close roads, shut down bus routes and ban certain items during Richard Spencer's speech at the Phillips Center for Performing Arts at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday issued a declaration of emergency for Alachua County at the request of Sheriff Sadie Darnell. Darnell said the declaration isn't based on any threats, but to give local law enforcement increased access and coordination to local municipalities and state resources. Darnell urged anyone to report any suspicious activity.

Tickets for the speech are being distributed by the National Policy Institute. The university says it's required to print the tickets but the NPI opted to distribute the tickets itself.

The university says only people with tickets will be allowed to enter the venue. Multiple law enforcement agencies are coordinating security around the Phillips Center.

Police have created a list of items that will not be allowed within the large area around the Phillips Center, including all closed road sections.


• Weapons, firearms or simulated firearms, tasers, knives, sharp objects

• Lighters, matches, torches or open flame

• Any athletic equipment or other items which could be used as a weapon

• Masks of any kind, goggles, bandanas/scarfs, neck gaiters

• Flag Poles, bats, clubs, sticks (including sticks on signs)

• Aerosol/pressurized cans, mace

• Chains, padlocks, bicycle locks

• Shields

• Fireworks

• Backpacks, bags, purses, clutches

• Signs made of anything other than cloth, paper, foam core, cardboard

• Cans, metal or glass containers, premixed beverages or alcoholic beverages

• No water bottles of any kind

• Pop-up tents, canopies or hammocks

• Wagons or pull carts

• Coolers

• Drones or other unmanned aircraft systems

• Pets (excluding ADA service animals)

• Grills, propane tanks

• Bicycles, scooters, skateboards

• Tobacco products of any kind

• Umbrellas

• Laser pointers

• Water balloons

• Megaphones or other amplified sound devices

• Any other items that campus police determine pose a risk to safety or a disruption of classes or vehicular or pedestrian traffic


The following roads will be closed during the event.

Campus road closures starting at 8 a.m.:

• Hull Road between SW 34th Street and Museum Road

• Bledsoe Drive between Radio Road and Hull Road

• Surge Area Drive between Natural Area Drive and Archer Road

• Natural Area Drive between Hull Road and the Performing Arts Center

City road closure 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.:

• SW 34th Street between SW 2nd Avenue and SW 20th Avenue

Commuters are encouraged to take alternative routes. Provisions are being made for residents of the apartment complexes south of SW 2nd Avenue. Anyone traveling to/from the UF Orthopaedics Institute, Museum Walk Apartments and the Hilton UF Conference Center should use Hull Road to SW 38th Terrace to SW 20th Avenue.


Students, faculty and staff with valid parking decals may park their vehicles on Flavet Field beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, through Friday. This is limited, temporary parking and vehicles must be removed by 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20.

There are numerous bus routes and available parking along 13th Street, University Avenue, and Archer Road. Routes from the Oak Mall, for example, are not expected to be impacted.

Individuals WITH tickets only may park in the commuter lot behind the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center via SW 38th Terrace off of SW 20th Avenue. Please see attached map.

Disability/ADA parking for people with event tickets:

Individuals WITH tickets only may park in the Hull Road commuter lot behind the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center via SW 38th Terrace off of SW 20th Avenue.

ADA shuttle service from this parking area will be provided for disabled event ticket holders only. This lot is accessible only via SW 38th Street off SW 20th Avenue. See enclosed map.

The ADA shuttle will depart the Orthopaedics parking lot promptly at 1:15 PM for the event area. The return shuttle will depart from the event area promptly at 4:50 PM. All riders are required to present their tickets in order to board the shuttle. Individuals without tickets will not be permitted on board.

Due to road closures and traffic impacts, there will be only one scheduled shuttle trip each way. Please anticipate that shuttles will be detoured around road closures and may require some extra time to complete the route.

For additional information, please contact Transportation and Parking Services at 352-392-7275.

No parking:

• Parking garage and lots between Southwest Recreation Center and the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

• UVS Village and Maguire Village

• Hilton Hotel and Conference Center

• Lakeside Housing Complex

Phillips Center Event Schedule:

• Doors open for the public at 1:30 p.m.

• No one will be allowed to enter the Phillips Center without a ticket

• All attendees will be screened by law enforcement and metal detectors

• Ticket entrance west of the Harn on Hull Road

RTS Bus Route changes

With the road closures of parts of Hull Road and Bledsoe Drive on Oct. 19, Gainesville’s Regional Transit System has announced the following changes to the bus schedule:

Campus and 34 St Detours:

Route 117 (2 buses) - CLOSED

Route 118 (4 buses) - CLOSED

Route 119 (1 bus) - CLOSED

Route 125 (2 buses)- CLOSED

Route 20 (5 buses) – detoured to Archer Rd then 23rd Dr

Route 21 (4 buses) - detoured to Archer Rd then 23rd Dr

Route 28 (4 buses) - detoured to Archer Rd then 23rd Dr

Route 33 (4 buses) - detoured to Archer Rd then 23rd Dr

Route 34 (3 buses) – detoured to Archer Rd then 23rd Dr

Traffic at the intersection of 20th Ave and 34th will backup causing even further delays in the affected bus schedules.

Please be aware that route detours and/or cancellations may happen quickly. For up-to-the-minute updates, go to www.Go-RTS.com or follow them on Facebook.

Information lines:

• 311: For general information

• 1-866 UF FACTS: For information specific to UF or faculty, staff or students

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