Two student entrances to open for future home football games

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After ongoing construction caused hundreds of students to wait at least half an hour to enter Amon G. Carter Stadium for the season opener, Jeremiah Donati, TCU’s director of intercollegiate athletics, said in a statement that two gates will now be designated as student entrances for all future home games this season.

Two gates have been accessible to students in the past, but the construction on new boxes and luxury suites reduced the number of student gates and caused those who arrived close to kickoff to form a crowd outside the stadium.

Another change that delayed the line was TCU’s new policy of no re-entry, which was implemented because alcohol is now sold inside the stadium, said Adrian Andrews, the assistant vice chancellor of public safety.

Andrews said some students attempted to re-swipe their IDs, lighting the card reader red and further slowing the flow of students.

“We were very appreciative of the great student turnout for our football season opener. Due to construction on the east side of the Amon G. Carter Stadium, we had to reduce the student entrance to one gate this past Saturday. For our next home game on Sept. 21 versus SMU, and continuing for the remainder of the season, we will have two gates open on the east side for students. This will be the same setup we had prior to construction. We do encourage students, as well as all fans, to arrive early to avoid potentially long lines at the gates that occur close to kickoff.”

Statement from Jeremiah Donati, TCU’s director of intercollegiate athletics

Work on the east side of the stadium, which is where the student entrances are located, was delayed 30 days due to heavy rain, Donati said in February. Initially expected to be complete by the homecoming game on Oct. 26, the updates will not be finished until the beginning of the 2020 season, Donati wrote in a tweet posted July 25.

Construction on the east side of the Amon G. Carter Stadium limited the number of entrances designated for students. Photo by Heesoo Yang.

TCU is working with the construction team to ensure Gate 9 will be opened for students for the SMU game on Sept. 21, Andrews said.

Students and parents alike were shocked by the cluster of students who were huddled outside the stadium. 

Senior communications major Caroline Brown said she arrived at the stadium about 10 minutes after kickoff and waited 30 minutes to enter. Some words she used to describe the line were “hot,” “sweaty” and “claustrophobic.”

“It felt like I was in a high school dance,” Brown said. “Just like a mosh pit of people.”

She also said while she was standing in the line, she was thinking about how it was a dangerous situation and a safety hazard for students. 

Members of the TCU Parents Association Facebook group shared stories that echoed Brown’s comment about the unsafe conditions, reporting there was pushing and shoving.

“My son said there were some drunk kids being rude, pushing, started a fistfight, and one of them picked up a trash can and threw it over the fence out of frustration,” a TCU parent wrote. “Not safe at all.”

Andrews said officers requested backup to help monitor the line when they saw the situation had worsened and they did not call earlier because they thought they could handle the situation and the line would decrease.

There will be more officers and event staff at the next game tocontrol the number of students who are allowed in small spaces, Andrews said; however, like Donati, he asks students to arrive at the game earlier.

“You shouldn’t have to go through what you went through the last time, and we apologize for that, but we’re going to make it up, so much better,” Andrews said.