Times Staff Report
August 23, 2013
LEXINGTON - When filled to capacity, Commonwealth Stadium, the home of the Kentucky football team, becomes the third largest city in the state of Kentucky with nearly 70,000 fans that make their way into the facility. And although a UK win is on everyone’s mind, student-athlete, staff and guests’ safety is of utmost importance.
In response to recent national events and industry trends regarding security at large assembly events, University of Kentucky officials have implemented new security measures for all personnel entering Commonwealth Stadium during football game days this fall.
Beginning with Kentucky’s 2013 home opener against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, Sept. 7, backpacks and large bags are prohibited from entering Commonwealth Stadium. Fans will be permitted to bring in one small bag, no larger than 13.5 inches by 10.7 inches. The bag must fit within sizing bins at all entrance gates of the stadium. UK officials are encouraging fans to arrive early and bring as few items as possible into the stadium. A security bin diagram is attached to this release.
“With the support of numerous campus, local, state and national public safety agencies, our collective primary objective is to provide a first-class guest experience in Commonwealth Stadium on game days,” said Kevin Saal, senior associate athletics director for operations and championships. “Safety and security are critical components of that experience, and these new procedures represent industry-standard best practices for large assembly events. We encourage the Big Blue Nation and our guests to arrive early and bring as few items as possible. We appreciate guests’ patience and understanding as we work diligently to keep Commonwealth Stadium safe on game days.”
“We, along with everyone else in the Big Blue Nation, are very excited about the upcoming Wildcat football season,” said Joe Monroe, chief of the University of Kentucky Police Department. “UK wants all fans to enjoy the game-day experience, and to do so in a responsible manner. We urge everyone to become familiar with the new policies we have instituted for 2013.”
The new security policy will serve on top of the pre-existing prohibited items list for Commonwealth Stadium, which includes: Alcohol; Aluminum containers; Artificial noisemakers; Backpacks; Chairbacks larger than 18”; Firearms; Food; Golf Carts; Glass containers; Ice/Ice chests; Irritants; Large bags; Pets (excluding service dogs); Portable/combustible fuel heaters; Tobacco Products.
Guests are encouraged to remain attentive to their surroundings and contact the nearest security official, event staff team member or call UKPD (859) 257-1616 to report suspicious behavior.
2014 Kentucky football schedule announced: The University of Kentucky football schedule for the 2014 season has been announced in conjunction with the Southeastern Conference schedule released Wednesday by the league office.
Next year’s slate will include timing adjustments for games against rivals Louisville and Tennessee. As requested by the SEC and the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Kentucky vs. Louisville game will be moved to the final game of the regular season beginning in 2014.
The leagues moved the game as a result of adjustments in scheduling brought on by the conference expansions undertaken in both the SEC and ACC. The SEC went to 14 schools a year ago and the ACC will be at 14 football-playing institutions when Louisville joins the league in the summer of 2014. For the `14 season, the Cardinals will play host to the Wildcats on Nov. 29.
The UK vs. UofL game had been played early in the schedule since the series was renewed in 1994. For Kentucky, moving the game to the end of the regular season also will require another adjustment. Tennessee has been scheduled as the Wildcats’ final foe since 1953 and the Volunteers will now move to Nov. 15, 2014, meaning that UK will close the regular season with a pair of rivalry games.
The switch of the Kentucky-Louisville game date means that there will be four SEC vs. ACC in-state rivalry matchups on the final weekend of the season. The Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech and South Carolina-Clemson tilts also are on that weekend.
The remainder of Kentucky’s non-conference schedule in 2014 includes three home games - the season opener against the University of Tennessee at Martin on Aug. 30, followed by Ohio University on Sept. 6. The Wildcats will play host to the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Oct. 11. This will be the first time that UK has played UT Martin. UK last played Ohio in 2004 and ULM in 2009.
The Wildcats continue to kick off the SEC schedule against Florida on Sept. 13 in Gainesville, the sixth consecutive season that UK’s league lidlifter comes against the Gators. One other significant timing change comes with the Vanderbilt game. Having played VU in November every season since 1953, the Wildcats will host the Commodores on Sept. 27, 2014.
Kentucky will continue to play the other Eastern Division opponents, with South Carolina and Georgia at home and Missouri on the road. UK’s permanent opponent from the Western Division, Mississippi State, will visit Commonwealth Stadium. Kentucky’s rotating opponent from the SEC West will be a game at LSU, which replaces Alabama from the 2013 schedule. The Wildcats last tangled with the Tigers in 2011.
Here is Kentucky’s complete 2014 schedule:
Aug. 30 - UT Martin
Sept. 6 - Ohio University
Sept. 13 - at Florida
Sept. 20 - open
Sept. 27 - Vanderbilt
Oct. 4 - South Carolina
Oct. 11 - ULM
Oct. 18 - at LSU
Oct. 25 - Mississippi State
Nov. 1 - at Missouri
Nov. 8 - Georgia
Nov. 15 - at Tennessee
Nov. 22 - open
Nov. 29 - at Louisville