June 15, 2016 4:15PM
With an average attendance somewhere between 9,000 and 10,000 fans, Pittsburg State University’s Carnie Smith Stadium is one of the top three Division II football venues in the nation. PSU officials are equally proud that the facility has also been honored for the university’s leadership in addressing safety and security issues at the stadium.
Pitt State will receive the Facility of Merit Award at the 2016 National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) Conference and Exhibition set for July 12-14, in Phoenix, Ariz. Other facilities receiving the honor include Michigan Stadium at the University of Michigan, McLane Stadium at Baylor University, Lubber Stadium at Grand Valley State University, Yankee Stadium, and Lambeau Field.
Mike McCracken, director of University Police and Parking Services, said maintaining a game-day environment that is both fun and safe involves many more people than just those who wear a uniform.
“Everyone plays a role in making this the best game-day experience in Division II football,” McCracken said. “In addition to the Campus Police and officers from other agencies, there are hundreds of people who are involved in game-day operations. That includes parking lot gate attendants, ticket takers and a host of other people. The most important people are the fans, themselves. Their support and cooperation is crucial to making game days go smoothly.”
McCracken said Pitt State tries to adhere to the best practices guide developed by the NCS4 for athletics events.
“They’ve brought together people with extensive experience in professional sports as well as at the intercollegiate and high school levels to develop the most effective practices for ensuring that events are safe,” McCracken said. “At PSU, we’re doing our best to ensure we’re following the industry standards.”
Last year, more than 59,000 fans attended PSU home football games. The average football attendance for MIAA schools last year was PSU, 9,856; Central Missouri, 7,499; Northwest Missouri State, 7,435; Emporia State, 5,326; Central Oklahoma, 5,010; Missouri Western, 4, 519; Missouri Southern, 4,364; Washburn, 4,170; Nebraska-Kearney, 4,091; Fort Hays State, 3,881; Northeastern State, 2,263; and Lindenwood, 2,082.