September 06, 2012 12:00AM
If you see Pittsburg State fans texting during this weekend’s home-opener, it may be for reasons other than chatting with their friends.
For the first time, the university will provide the thousands in attendance with a special fan assistance texting service.
“It’s become common practice at major sports venues,” said Director of University Police and Parking Services Mike McCracken. “But we believe we’re the first in the MIAA to offer this type of program at our stadium.”
The program will allow fans who need assistance to immediately contact police or security personnel by simply texting a special number on their phone.
“It’s a great service because it provides fans with a convenient and discreet way of contacting us if they see something that concerns them,” explained McCracken. “Whether it’s a medical emergency, an unruly fan or a simple stadium concern, this will allow us to respond quickly and confidently.”
The texting service will be available on game days and signage explaining the service will be displayed throughout the stadium.
Pittsburg State Athletics Director Jim Johnson said the new service is just one of the many ways that the university is working to provide fans with the very best game-day experience.
“Pittsburg State University is known for providing its fans and guests with an incredible family-friendly experience,” he said. “We’re always looking to make improvements to assure that Carnie Smith Stadium continues to provide the best game atmosphere in any division.”
One of those changes will involve a security practice that has become commonplace at sporting venues throughout the nation.
“We will be checking backpacks, large bags and purses this year,” Johnson said. “We’ll have security personnel at each gate who will simply ask to look inside these types of items. Like every other sporting venue in the nation, our focus is on the safety and comfort of our fans.”
As in past years, no alcohol, glass bottles, outside food or beverages (other than unopened bottles of water), cans or noisemakers will be allowed.
“It’s really a common sense approach to the game,” Johnson explained. “We want our fans to be able focus on the game and supporting our Gorillas!”
** A reminder that parking lot gates will open at 6 a.m. on game-day. Gorilla parking in the Brown lot immediately adjacent to the stadium is available for just $5 per vehicle. Crimson parking is available at no charge in the Brown lot west of John Lance Arena. This lot is also the designated location for RVs and large buses.
** Ticket windows will open at 3 p.m. with stadium gates opening at 4:30 p.m.