University makes extra preparations for Utah game

University makes extra preparations for Utah game

The preparations around the university’s sold out football game Saturday is a “total campus effort,” university officials said.

Five different broadcasts, including ESPN College GameDay, will be streaming from campus before, during and after the game and that requires some extra planning, said Ross Bailey, associate athletics director of operations.

“The university will have installed 80 phone lines by the time the whole weekend is over for all of these groups,” Bailey said.

This weekend can’t be viewed as just a football game, Bailey said. Other preparations, like adding extra landscaping in the Campus Commons, have also been made.

“This is a chance for hours worth of national exposure for the university,” Bailey said. “This is a win-win for the university because we can’t buy this kind of publicity.”

There is no way around being overwhelmed with people in the stadium, Bailey said.

To accommodate the large crowd, extra concession stands have been added along with extra portable bathrooms, police officers, ticket takers and in-stadium security, he said.

“The big thing is for people to come to the game early; leave the (parking) lots early,” he said. “The problem is that everyone wants to leave the parking lot at 6:25 (p.m.) for a 6:30 (p.m.) kick off.”

The university has also added gates to avoid the long lines to enter the stadium, he said.

“We have built and added and expanded Gate 2 on the northwest side of the stadium,” he said. “We are going to open the gate beneath the scoreboard this week.”

Extra staff has also been added at the gate to help people get in, he said.

Parking on the east side of campus is free and the lots will open at 1 p.m., he said. The shuttle to the stadium will start running at 3 p.m.

Bailey said the university is as prepared for the game as it can be.

“What we have to do now is realize we are still in an 80-year-old stadium, and there are some challenges associated with that,” he said.

More money than usual has been spent in preparation for this game, but with its sold-out status, additional revenue will be brought in, Bailey said.

Davis Babb, associate athletics director of development, said he is sure the game Saturday will set the all-time attendance record.

“What’s different about this game is Utah will have less than 1,000 fans, and unlike previous sellouts where the visiting team was well represented, this will be 99 percent TCU, so it will be wild,” he said.

Bailey said the sound checks that were held Thursday at 2 p.m. ran well.

“We are going to do some more (sound tests) at 10 (a.m. Friday) but there were no issues today,” Bailey said. “We think we passed with flying colors.”

Bailey said the ESPN crew has really enjoyed the campus.

“The fact that they are up in the (Campus Commons) has been huge for them, and they really enjoyed that,” he said. “Lots of good, exciting things that they are picking up on.”

The game will be available on campus on channels 11, 102.1 or 102.17, according to TCU Connect. Channel 11, which is normally the local CBS station, will stream CBS College Sports only for the game, said Travis Cook, director of business services.

ESPN College GameDay will be shooting some segments on the set in the Campus Commons today from noon to 2 p.m.