- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) - Saturday night’s scheduled concert by homegrown rapper Cal Scruby and the remainder of a summer series have been canceled in the aftermath of violence last weekend in downtown Cincinnati, organizers said Tuesday as city leaders readied preparations for hosting baseball’s All-Star Game next week.

City officials have been offering assurances that downtown will be safe for the July 14 game and related events leading up to it that start this weekend. City Manager Harry Black on Tuesday said it will mean tens of millions of dollars in economic impact for Cincinnati, as well as the “opportunity to showcase our entire city.”

Black said he thinks visitors and global TV audiences will be impressed, adding: “Yes, Cincinnati will be safe.”

Mayor John Cranley blamed an “event-based problem” for Saturday night’s melee in which two police officers were hurt, a civilian was beaten and some police wore riot gear while arresting seven people after a Fountain Square concert. Cranley said Monday that the show drew large groups of unchaperoned young people downtown late at night, without enough staffing and planning to cope with the crowds.

An email sent to Scruby’s website contact requesting comment was not immediately returned.

The Cincinnati Center City Development Corp., a private city development organization that sponsored the concert series, said in a statement that it and the promoter don’t believe the instigators of the trouble were associated with the concert. But it acknowledged “public safety implications that cannot be ignored,” especially after police were put at risk.

“The Saturday night hip-hop concerts have grown such that they have become a capacity challenge that has raised concerns from civic leaders, public safety officials and surrounding businesses,” the organization said.

The group known as 3CDC said a lineup of other music, viewing parties and activities will go on downtown as planned during the All-Star weekend.

City officials also expect tens of thousands of people for a Saturday night concert at Paul Brown Stadium headlined by pop star Ariana Grande. But they said they expect parents and other adults to attend that show with young fans.

There will be a large police presence, including undercover officers, in the city after many months of security planning for the All-Star Game, which has also involved the FBI, Coast Guard and other federal, state and local agencies, city leaders said.

Major League Baseball spokesman Matt Bourne said by email Monday that the league has been involved in the security planning for Cincinnati for more than a year and is keeping in communication on all aspects for “a safe All-Star experience for our fans.”


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