September 2nd is drawing ever closer, when Bill Snyder Family Stadium will fill up with 50,000 fans as Kansas State will host Central Arkansas for the first game of the 2017-18 football season. For fans and students alike, getting into the stadium will look a lot different this year.
Four years ago, the Kansas Legislature passed a law that allows anyone 21 years or older to concealed carry a firearm on campus. The law went into effect on July 1 of this year. Firearms can be prohibited in certain facilities, two of which are Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Bramlage Coliseum at K-State. However, it isn’t just a matter of prohibiting firearms with a sign — Adequate Security Measures (ASM) are required for this to be possible.
Over the past four years, K-State obtained a four-year exemption so that they could plan and create new security policies before the law went into effect. The biggest change that K-State football fans will see is the institution of metal detectors.
Approximately 73 metal detectors have been purchased for BSFS, costing around $420,000. The cost will not increase ticket prices, as K-State Athletics has budgeted the costs of the new security measures.
In preparation for this new step in security, K-State started the clear bag policy for athletic events last year. Increased security has become a trend in the Big 12 Conference, as rival KU is following suit by using the clear bag policy this year. Baylor has been the only other Big 12 school to use metal detectors.
For the 2017-18 season, the clear bag policy will still apply, but there are a few changes to take note of when entering the stadium this fall. Fans will be asked to remove binoculars, cellphones and cameras. Things you will not need to remove are belts, wallets, jackets, watches, coins and keys. If you have a medical condition that prohibits you from going through a metal detector, inform the staff and you will be individually screened. The staff is also advising to make sure you give yourself plenty of time before you go into the game.
While the new security measures may be a hassle and take a while to get used to, they will provide a safe environment to cheer on the ‘Cats this fall.