Sept. 18, 2001
Manhattan, Kan. -
Kansas State University, as part of its football game on Sept. 22 with New Mexico State, will host a pregame tribute to the victims and those affected by last week's national tragedy, athletic department officials announced on Tuesday.
In addition, in cooperation with area and regional law enforcement officials, some stadium security policies will be changed beginning with this Saturday's game.
Prior to the game Saturday, there will be a presentation and tribute made to area fire, rescue and police personnel. The K-State Marching Band will include "God Bless America," in its show following the normal ceremony of allegiance. There will be a message on the JumboTron from Wildcat Head Coach Bill Snyder, followed by a moment of silence and a prayer.
Fans will then be invited to join in the singing of the National Anthem, followed by the kickoff at approximately 1:10 p.m. CDT.
In conjunction with the Big 12 Conference's $1 million donation to the disaster relief fund, the K-State athletic department will have sites set up throughout the stadium for fans to make contributions. Fans may donate on the west concourse behind sections 2 and 10, on the east concourse inside Gates P and T and in the north end zone.
Donations will be accepted from the time the gates open until kickoff and during halftime. Donations will continue throughout the football season and at all home matches for the Wildcat volleyball team.
At the donation sites in the stadium, the athletic department will distribute 50,000 white ribbons which are being used nationally as a sign of hope. In addition, 15,000 hand-held American flags will also be distributed to fans.
Fans are invited to bring their own American flags, but they must not be on a pole and must be small enough to be held in one hand and displayed without impeding the sight lines of other fans.
Two large K-State flags will be available at Saturday's game for fans to sign. The flags will be sent to New York City and Washington, D.C., as messages of support from Wildcat fans.
Kansas State athletic department officials have always been in consultation with area law enforcement officials to maximize security of its fans and game participants. Based on recent events, some suggestions and extra safeguards have been made to enhance security for all patrons and teams.
Stadium officials will formalize the procedure of working with campus, county and state police in checking and preparing the stadium for safety before gates open for each game.
Beginning on Saturday, KSU Stadium staff will continue to enforce the policy against permitting umbrellas and coolers in the stadium. Local law enforcement officials have suggested a ban on coolers and thermos bottles in the stadium and that ban will be enforced beginning on Saturday. Fans will be permitted to bring plastic bottles of water which are smaller than one liter in size.
Small bags and purses will be allowed, but are subject to search.
Fans should expect minor delays in entering the stadium due to the increased level or security, and it is suggested that fans try to come to the gates a little earlier than normal to avoid any lines which may form.
"We are happy that we have had very few security issues at KSU Stadium in the past," said Tim Weiser, director of athletics at Kansas State. "The events of the past week across the nation have made us all more aware and sensitive to the idea that our first priority is the safety and security of our fans and teams.
"By constantly working with our area law enforcement officials, we will be able to enhance what is already a good plan for security in all our athletic venues."