Congestion, delays at football game

Tech’s 2010 football season kicked-off at precisely 1:07 p.m. on Saturday, Sep. 4th. A number of fans missed the start, when newly enforced entry policies led to increased congestion before the start of the game. Most of the fans affected by the stadium entrance delays were paying ticket holders, not students.

A large portion of delays were attributed to security denying entrance to fans attempting to enter through gates that did not match the numbers printed on their tickets.

The gate entrance restriction, which is a long-standing policy, was lifted as soon as officials realized it was causing bottlenecks at the North entrances of Bobby Dodd Stadium.

“Unfortunately we didn’t understand the magnitude of how many of our fans have routinely, over the years, gone in the wrong gate,” said Dan Radakovitch, director of the Athletic Association.

The peak entrance queues were estimated to be between 20 and 40 minutes.

“We will continue to suggest that our fans go to the gates printed on their tickets. However, they won’t be denied entry,” Radakovich said.

Students attending the game saw few problems in comparison to last year’s season opener. The only major policy change concerning students involved requiring wristbands for those students sitting in blocks that entered through the South gates. The change is part of an effort to better control the amount of traffic passing through the gates and as a way to control overcrowding in the block seating areas.

“The wristbands were really the only change, and the feedback we’ve received is that there really haven’t been a whole lot of complaints. We attribute that to good communication by the SGA and good follow through by the students,” Radakovitch said.

51,668 fans attended this year’s opening game against the South Carolina State Bulldogs, a 12 percent increase over last year’s opening game attendance of 45,468 when Tech played Jacksonville State.