Game day changes made to increase safety

August 30, 2006

University Park, Pa. -- With the first home game kick-off just a few days away Penn State officials are working to make the experience a great event for Nittany Lion and away team fans throughout the season.

More visible police and safety personnel will be one of the most evident changes from previous years, according to Steve Shelow, director of police services at the University.

There will be "significantly more" Penn State police officers patrolling the parking areas around the stadium for fans who need assistance and to help reduce underage drinking. In addition, the police department's mobile command post will be assigned to a more visible location this year -- in the picnic grove near the intersection of Park Avenue and University Drive. People who need assistance are encouraged to stop by the command post.

Campus police and other area police departments who provide support for game day activities will also continue to operate their main command post beneath Beaver Stadium, adjacent to Gate B, in the southwest corner of the stadium, as they have done in recent years.

Fans who need medical, police or other kinds of emergency assistance while visiting the Beaver Stadium area on game days are encouraged to use the same telephone numbers they would use elsewhere on campus -- either the Centre County 911 number or the emergency number specifically promoted for campus police, which is 863-1111.

As in past years, drinking alcohol is not permitted inside Beaver Stadium. This year the University also is prohibiting alcohol at tailgate parties in the lots around Beaver Stadium between kick-off and the final whistle.

"We are worried about the health and safety of our fans," said Shelow. "We continue to see many fans under the age of 21 leaving the game early, or not even getting into the stadium for kick-off, because they must be taken to the emergency room for alcohol overdoses. We want to try some new initiatives to keep them safe and still let everyone get in the spirit of a great college football experience."

"Increasing our patrols and limiting alcohol consumption while the game is under way may help us with that problem," he said.

"Tailgating before and after football games has evolved into one of college football's most recognized, most treasured traditions that bring family, friends, alumni and colleagues together for good times and good memories," said Tim Curley, Penn State athletic director. "Penn State is pleased and proud to be recognized annually as one of the nation's finest hosts to this tradition, largely because Penn Staters know how to celebrate responsibly and respectfully."

"With increasing frequency, however, a number of fans are coming to the tailgate areas with no intention of attending the football game. They have no interest in supporting the team inside the stadium and are simply utilizing the parking lot areas for group parties," Curley said. "This has diminished what the great majority of Nittany Lion tailgaters value about the best atmosphere in college football."

"We fully expect that our fans will continue to uphold the national reputation that Penn Staters enjoy by continuing to tailgate responsibly before and after every game, while cheering the Nittany Lions on to victory inside Beaver Stadium."

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 06, 2009