UT prepares for first home football game amidst bad weather forecast

Meghan Nguyen

As the Longhorns hit the field for their first home football game this Saturday, Texas Athletics will be working closely with Parking and Transportation Services and the UT Police Department to prepare for forecast thunderstorms and showers.  

The office of Campus Safety has a programming effort with Texas Athletics to provide an awareness and protective-action model in response to inclement weather and its potential impact on game day. This model includes weather monitoring, awareness messaging, an outdoor warning system and a sheltering plan for the stadium and San Jacinto Boulevard.

“Event staff are skilled in assisting in directing our fans to predetermined shelter locations in and around the stadium until an all-clear announcement is issued,” said Jimmy Johnson, assistant vice president for campus safety. “This process is vetted and exercised annually.”

In addition, for every home football game, the UT Police Department focuses on four main things: threat mitigation, traffic control, crowd management and making sure there is a good fan experience. 

“We want to make sure that (UTPD) has a solid security posture, with all eyes open to address anyone who might do harm,” Chief of Police David Carter said. “We’ll watch out for anything that affects the safety of our community.” 

Parking and Transportation Services will be responsible for restricting campus entry on game day beginning at 7 a.m. PTS will be designating a scooter drop off zone at certain checkpoints that guests will be able to access at any time during and after the game, and dockless scooters will not be allowed to travel beyond the checkpoints on game days.

UT enters Saturday’s game coming off a 34-29 loss to Maryland. A new event called Bevo Boulevard will be held on San Jacinto Boulevard from East 20th Street to the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center to provide fans with a new pregame street party atmosphere.

Biochemistry junior Austin Decker did not hold any qualms about safety on game day. Decker is vice president of Longhorn Hellraisers, a spirit group that aims to attend and cheer on every Longhorn football game. 

“I have only see one or two instances at DKR, and UTPD responded fairly quickly,” biochemistry junior Decker said. “I feel they do a good job.”