Football game security measures set for opening day

GVL / Kevin Sielaff 
Grand Valley State squares off against Southwest Baptist Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 at Lubbers Stadium.

GVL / Kevin Sielaff Grand Valley State squares off against Southwest Baptist Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 at Lubbers Stadium.

Hannah Lentz

Summer is the ideal time for the Grand Valley State University Police Department to catch up on work. With less traffic on both the Allendale and Pew campuses, GVPD uses this time to look at procedures and policies and see how to run in a more efficient and safe manner. One of these focuses is on security during the football season.

The Laker football team will open its 2016 season Thursday, Sept. 1 against Tiffin University at 7 p.m. at Lubbers Stadium.

This will be the second consecutive year that the opening football game will be on a Thursday in order to allow students to attend the first football game and still be able to go home for Labor Day.

Additional busing will be provided to accommodate the influx in people. On this day only, students with a commuter pass will be allowed to park in residential lots.

“Student commuters are encouraged to use the Rapid Park and Ride to reduce traffic on this day.”

Though weeks of planning have gone into the football season operations, the biggest challenge this year was associated with parking.

“With the demolition of the Ravines and the repaving of Lot B we have added a large amount of parking spaces for fans in that new area,” said Sgt. Jeff Stoll of GVPD. “This lot will serve as part of the Irwin Club and also the President’s guests.”

Last year, those vehicles were in Lot C. Lot C West will have the addition of the new Student Village moving more of the student tailgating fans into Lot C West. Lot C will serve as a backfill lot for people paying to park close to the venue.

“There are some movements with parking classifications that will change some of the traffic dynamics a little but we have discusses this and have some plans already in place,” Stoll said.

Following last year’s change, there will also still be a separate line at entry dedicated to checking approved bags spectators bring to the game.

“Staff at the gates will be looking inside bags being brought into the stadium to make sure there are no safety concerns such as explosives or weapons but also other prohibited items like outside food and beverages containing alcohol,” Stoll said.

At both the North and South gates there will be designated lines for bag checks and also express lanes. Those fans who choose not to bring a bag can go through the express lane and quickly enter into the stadium. All bags will be checked prior to entry and persons with bags must go through the bag check lines.

“Our goal at these games is to have high visibility for student security,” said GVPD Capt. Brandon DeHaan. “We want to provide a safe environment for students to have a good time.”

Permitted Items:

Single seat chair backs


Cell phones

Small cameras and radios

Blankets and rain apparel


Soft-sided bags/purses/diaper bags no larger than 18x14x4 without rollers. All bags will be inspected at the designated check line.

Prohibited Items:

Bags larger than 18x14x4

Containers of any kind

Umbrellas, flags and flagpoles

Still photography cameras with a lens more than 6 inch in length

Outside beverages or food

Coolers, thermoses, cups, cans, flasks, kegs and bottled water


Artificial noisemakers

Promotional items


All individuals wishing to tailgate must display their parking passes with clear visibility in their vehicle window.

Parking passes for Irwin Gold, Blue and Black lots are available for designated donation to the Irwin Club and are administered by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

General Parking in Lot C, Lot C West, Lot D, Lot F and Lot G will be charged $5 per car. Motorhomes and RVs will be charged $25 and will be allowed only in Lot C unless approved by GVSU athletics.