CHICAGO, June 13 -- The Chicago Bulls have a chance of winning their fifth NBA championship and police are gearing up to prevent any repeat of rioting downtown. Mayor Richard Daley says approximately 6,000 police officers and 200 to 300 National Guard members will be on the street tonight if the Bulls win Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz, at a cost of almost a million dollars. Another 2,000 National Guard members will be on call. Cook County Sheriff Mike Sheehan says police are serious about arresting fans who get carried away. He says those arrested face a seven day stay in jail. Daley says fans should celebrate where they watch the game, and not rush downtown to party. If the Bulls clinch tonight, the city's official celebration will be held Monday in Grant Park. If they lose, they'll have another chance to win the title in Game 7 Sunday. If the Bulls win Sunday the official party starts Tuesday morning. Some 6,200 officers fanned out across the city last June after the Bull's fourth championship in an attempt to prevent a repeat of 1992, when riots and looting cost the city millions of dollars. Daley says the city isn't taking any chances this year, 'We will not tolerate this type of destructive activity. We will be ready for lawbreakers.' Thousands of extra officers will monitor street activity this year, especially in historic trouble spots like Division Street and business districts on the West Side.
If the Bulls are ahead toward the end of tonight's game, police are expected to block off several access routes to limit car traffic downtown. Business owners were advised to use their judgment about staying open or closing early, but all who close are told to leave their lights on. Building owners are asked to refuse to let camera crews on their rooftops because the TV lights can incite a crowd. ---
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