The Athletic Association (AA), in conjunction with SGA, will begin to implement a new set of game day rules and procedures starting this weekend at the game against Wake Forest. The changes are designed with the intent of improving the flow of ticketed patrons in and out of the stadium, which has come under criticism following extended wait times at earlier games.
The change in game day logistics consists of two parts. First, the AA plans to designate one of the three portals in the student section at the North end zone as an exit only portal. Students entering the lower north gate will have to use the remaining two portals for entry into the stadium. This change was made in response to the heavy traffic experienced at the start of the game and two way traffic in between intervals.
“We’ve had experience with doing something similar in the past, and with the layout and logistics of the stadium I think it will really help improving the flow of traffic in and out of the stadium,” said Doug Allvine, the assistant athletic director for special projects.
The second change proposed by the AA is to require all students to display their reserved seat locator/voucher prior to swiping their BuzzCard for entry. Students will also be required to present their vouchers to ushers before being seated in their blocks. According to Allvine, this change will be implemented in order to preserve the integrity of student groups. In addition, this policy will be implemented in order prevent students with single game tickets from entering at the lower north end zone, reducing congestion and preventing them from taking group seats.
“The vouchers are issued to provide students in a group with the opportunity of sitting with their friends … that is why the ushers are checking patrons for vouchers before seating them,” said Allvine. According to Allvine, students will be required only to briefly flash vouchers to security personnel at the gate, and this will not add significantly to the time taken to move through the gate.
“What we’ve noticed is that traffic for the south [end zone] enters through Gate 7 because students have been conditioned to know that they need to enter at that gate,” Allvine said.
Allvine also said that another reason for the backup in traffic during football games is the fact that a majority of students arrive just before or during kickoff.
“The data shows that most students come around kickoff, with over 1/3 of students coming just after kickoff. We really want to encourage students to come earlier, so we can help smooth the flow of traffic,” said Allvine.
According to Undergraduate Student Body President, Alina Staskevicius, the new policies were announced in preparation for the Jackets’ game against the University of Georgia at the end of this month.
“The reason why we’re piloting it [new policies] during the Wake Forest game is that we know that we will probably have more attendance at the Georgia game in the next few weeks. This entire season has been essentially a pilot…we keep revising what we’re doing and improving the game day experience,” Staskevicius said.