Security plans in place for Appalachian State football game this weekend
App State officials are taking necessary steps to ensure an exciting and safe weekend in Boone.
BOONE, N.C. (WBTV) - With the excitement about the possibility of another big win Saturday, and ESPN in town for College GameDay, it’s going to be another big weekend for Appalachian State football.
Fans from all over will be flocking to the small town of Boone, but that raises security questions. Authorities will have to sort out the logistics of getting people into the game and then manage the experience they’ll have with law enforcement once they get there.
As thousands of students rushed the bus carrying ESPN dignitaries on Thursday afternoon, security could be seen both on the ground as well as in the air. But what about when the excitement of the day passes, and just the game remains?
“It’s all hands-on deck,” Appalachian State’s Megan Hayes said.
Hayes said plans about safety aren’t thrown together at the last minute. It takes careful planning to pull off a big event such as a collegiate-level football game.
“We have a lot of folks that work on logistics year-round to make sure we can get people in and out and make sure the experience is as great as it can possibly be,” she said.
And there’s always a backup plan.
“We also have an emergency operations center that we activate every time we have a large crowd on campus, just so that we’re ready for a response just in case,” Hayes said.
Officers from local departments can be called in to supplement any uncovered spots. The University can also pull from its police cadet group to help out in an event where it’s needed.
“We also have an app that people can download to get real-time information,” Hayes said.
The app can alert fans on incoming weather or any security problems that may pop up.
If you bring a bag into the game, it’s got to be clear so security can see what you’re packing. Automated ticketing will also push people through the gate faster and will allow officials to know who made it on campus.
At the end of the day though, the security measures are in place to protect a town that is buzzing.
“It’s that black and gold tradition,” Seth Beam said.
Students like Beam said they appreciate the heightened attention to security, but said they’re not worried about the “what-ifs.”
“You saw the UNC game here,” he said. “Forty thousand people here, 35,000 in the stands. I think we can handle it.”
Copyright 2022 WBTV. All rights reserved.