With thousands of people filling the seats of the Jones AT&T Stadium, different security and safety procedures may be necessary to ensure one enjoys the upcoming Texas Tech football game on Saturday.
Tech Athletics and the Tech Police Department complete a variety of tasks in order to enforce the rules of attending a home football game. For those attending the upcoming home game, which will take place at 3 p.m. on Aug. 31 at the Jones AT&T Stadium located at 2526 Mac Davis Lane, different rules must be followed in and around the stadium.
Robert Giovannetti, Tech senior associate athletics director for External Operations and Strategic Communications, said there is a clear bag policy at the stadium, and bags bigger than a clutch are prohibited. He said this is the fourth year the clear bag policy has been in place.
“I think fans are used to that,” he said regarding the clear bag policy. “But it’s always good to remind people that there’s a clear bag policy in effect.”
In addition to no bags in the stadium, Giovannetti said outside food and beverages, other than water in an unopened, 20-ounce plastic bottle, are prohibited.
For those concerned about the heat during the game, Giovannetti said precautions are being taken to endure attendees remain cool and hydrated in the stadium.
“On the first game, we will definitely have what’s called a heat management,” he said. “We’ll have one over here where the students are. There’s misting stations, they can get a refill on their water, there’ll be some ice tubs where they can dump a towel in.”
Along with rules regarding food and beverages, one may need to know the rules regarding alcohol being served at Saturday’s game.
Stephen Hinkle, TTPD patrol captain, said there should not be any changes in disturbances or crimes with alcohol being served at the stadium for the first time.
“We really did not increase our numbers all that much this year,” he said. “We’ve been dealing with alcohol regardless if it’s being sold in the stadium. The good thing with alcohol being sold in the stadium is there is no more pass outs.”
Regarding pass-outs, Hinkle said once someone leaves the stadium, that person cannot enter the stadium again.
“They’re doing that to control the alcohol inside the stadium,” he said. “It’s also a violation of their liquor license if they sell and let people come in and out.”
Buying another ticket, if the game is not sold out, is one way Hinkle said one could enter the stadium after leaving.
Whether it be alcohol-related crimes, which make up the majority of offenses during home games, or other crimes, Hinkle said all offenders are placed in the Booking Bus.
“We wanted a place to take people that we do place under arrest, to get them processed, to get all their paperwork done, so they can get down to the jail and see a judge and be arraigned basically for what they’re being charged with,” he said regarding how people who are under arrest are placed in a Citibus to be processed. “It was basically brought up because we don’t have a jail or holding facility on campus, so that’s what we used.”
While on the Booking Bus, officers complete all the paperwork, and the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department transports those who were under arrest, Hinkle said. The different departments at home games is one aspect of the security he said some people do not consider.
“Obviously, if you’ve been to a game, you notice it’s not just Texas Tech out there. The City of Lubbock police is out there, the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office is out there,” Hinkle said. “We have a whole bunch of different law enforcement agencies out here.”
To put these security measures in place, Hinkle said cooperation among different departments is coordinated every year before the games start. He said the TTPD officers in particular do a lot during the games.
“We direct traffic for the game, and during the game, all of us are out patrolling parking lots and making sure everyone is having a good time but not over partaking and getting in trouble,” Hinkle said. “That’s what we’re there for.”
When attending a football game that consists of thousands of attendees, security and safety may be important to ensure a quality game-day experience.
Cody Rutherford, a sophomore nutrition major from San Antonio, said he feels safe when he attends a home football game.
“I like to go to the games with my friends,” he said regarding how he is able to enjoy the game and not worry about safety risks.
Even if one thinks the security and safety measures at home football games are strict, one could still enjoy the game.
“Come out and enjoy yourself. Cheer on your team,” Hinkle said. “Just don’t overindulge.”