Monday August 27, 2012Fan Initiatives to Know For the 2012 University of Florida Football Season
The University of Florida football team's season opener against Bowling Green State University from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sept. 1 has been slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN.
As we approach the start of a new football season, here are some points that might help with some questions fans and visitors may have regarding security surrounding home football games.
· The UAA and UFPD remain in constant communication with local, state and federal officials and there have been increased security measures for home football weekends.
· Patrons are asked to pay more attention to their surroundings and to immediately report suspicious activity, vehicles and persons to police. Please call the University of Florida Police Department to report any suspicious activity on campus: 352-392-1111.
· Fans are encouraged to arrive at the gates early and pay particular attention to the prohibited items list, which will be strictly enforced. Gates open 90 minutes prior to kickoff and the Gator Walk will be held two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff.
· Updated information is available on the University hotline at 1-866-UF FACTS (1-866-833-2287).
Fan safety is always the top priority for the University Athletic Association and is of the utmost importance for all game day staff on campus and at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Heat Plan Initiatives
Due to an expected high heat index for the early-season games, fans are encouraged to properly hydrate and to wear loose clothing and a hat to avoid heat exhaustion. Sunscreen of at least 30 SPF is recommended, repeating the application several times over the course of the afternoon. Sunscreen should be applied while the skin is dry and four ounces is needed for adequate protection.
Fans feeling dizzy should get out of the sun and should drink plenty of fluids, such as water and Gatorade. It is recommended to avoid excess alcohol consumption, since it will compound heat problems. Spectators with G-1 respiratory or cardiac disease should be especially careful, and everyone should proceed immediately to an aid station if help is needed.
General Guidelines for High-Temperature Days
· Wear loose fitting clothing and a hat
· Sunscreen of at least 30 SPF - repeat application
· Get out of the sun if dizzy
· Drink plenty of fluids - water and Gatorade
· Avoid excess alcohol - it will compound heat problems
· If you have G-1 respiratory or cardiac disease be especially careful
· Go immediately to an aid station if you need help
Special heat initiatives will be in place for the first home game in September and any other games with potentially heat indexes:
· Misting stations located around the stadium
· Hand fans will be distributed
· Sunscreen giveaway at Verizon Gator FanFest outside Gate 2 of the O'Connell Center
· Cooling Hand Towel giveaway at Verizon Gator FanFest outside Gate 2 of the O'Connell Center
· Numerous water fountains available throughout the stadium
· Water bottles are available for sale at the concessions stands.
· Officers at gates looking out for fans in heat distress and directing to aid stations
· The Stephen C. O’Connell Center will be available for fans to go in and get out of the heat and cool off to watch the game on the video boards. Gate 1 will be open for entry.
The Gator Walk
Again this season, fans are able to greet the team upon arrival at the stadium prior to kickoff when the team participates in the "Gator Walk." Please note that the Gator Walk will take place two hours and 15 minutes before to kickoff. Fans are welcome to join the UF cheerleaders, mascots and pep band to wish the team well ahead of all home contests. The Gators will exit team buses on the corner of University Avenue and Gale Lemerand Drive and walk along the sidewalk into Gate Eight of the stadium and across Florida Field on their way to the locker room.
Fan Text Message System
The University of Florida will continue the game day text-message communication system at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for 2012 football games. The text messaging system allows fans to communicate directly with the stadium’s command post if assistance is needed in dealing with any special needs inside the stadium.
Should fans need assistance while inside of the stadium, they will be able to contact event management staff by sending in a text message from their phone. Simply text “GATORS” <space> the Issue and Location of incident to 69050. Please note that standard SMS rates apply.
Be sure to include the problem and the location of the incident, including the section number, row and seat number (if applicable) in the message. Fans will receive a message back indicating that the message has been received and help is on the way, or if there is insufficient information, it will ask for a more complete message.
Public parking lots are very limited around the Stadium. All lots that are not reserved are available on a first-come, first-served basis (see map). As always, parking on the grass and sidewalks is NOT permitted and any vehicle doing so is at risk of being ticketed or towed.
In an effort to enhance security around the stadium, starting 2.5 hours prior to kickoff, no vehicular traffic will be allowed on Lemerand Drive between University Avenue and Stadium Road. The closure will remain in effect until the end of the game. There are also additional road restrictions that limit access to locations in close proximity to the stadium and inner campus. While it is the intent of UFPD to remain consistent with these restrictions each game, they may vary based upon law enforcement assessment. Please contact UFPD for more information.
The reserved parking on campus is a privilege for specific levels of Booster club members. For details, please contact the Gator Boosters Office at (800) 344-2867, ext. 5000.
For information on Disabled Parking, RV Parking, Visitor Parking and the Map for game days, please visit:
The University of Florida is a Tobacco Free Campus. This policy is in effect at all University Athletic Association facilities, including Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field. We request and appreciate your adherence and compliance with this University policy. Game Day Staff will be monitoring for those in violation and request such action be ceased. Violators are subject to ejection.
Prohibited items must be returned to vehicles or disposed of before entering the stadium. There are no provisions to check items at the gates. *Law enforcement officials have the right to inspect any item at any time for the purpose of spectator safety.*
· Alcoholic beverages
· Artificial noise making devices
· Back packs
· Cameras with detachable lens larger than 6 inches
· Chairbacks larger than a single seat (16 inches)
· Food/drink containers including bottles, cans and thermoses
· Ice chests and ice bags
· Large carry bags
· Outside food and drink
· Tobacco products
· Video cameras/cases
· Any items deemed hazardous by game management personnel
The city of Gainesville will once again offer its park-and-ride Gator Aider shuttles, which could help fans save time and avoid searching for a parking space. All shuttle buses are disabled accessible. Contact RTS at (352) 334-2600 for more shuttle information.
City of Gainesville Parking
The City of Gainesville’s land use code prohibits parking vehicles on areas not designated for parking in residentially-zoned districts. The code does allow an exception that permits the City Manager to exempt these restrictions for certain events hosted by the University of Florida. A calendar listing those exempt days can be found on the Code Enforcement Division web site at the bottom of the page at:
Gator FanFest, Presented by Verizon, is located just outside Gate 2 of the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Starting approximately 3 hours prior to each home football game, fans will have an opportunity to participate in interactive games, meet and receive autographs from other Gator athletes, win free prizes and listen to the Gator Network pre-game radio show live. It's fun for the whole family and admission is Free!
The Neutral Gator Initiative minimizes the environmental impact of Gator Athletics. In 2009, Neutral Gator helped the Florida Gators host the NCAA’s first-ever carbon neutral home football season. In 2010, with the support of the UAA, Neutral Gator took the entire UF Athletics Program carbon neutral. For more information on how you can get involved, visit our table at Gate 1 or our website:
Ticket Scanning Procedure
The 2012 season marks the fourth year in which ticket barcodes will be scanned at Gator football games, beginning with the season opener on Sept. 1 against Bowling Green State University. Fans are encouraged to have their tickets in hand as they enter the gates and also to show up earlier than normal to ensure that they make it to their seats on time.
Ticket scanning technology is being employed to prevent the counterfeiting of game tickets and to allow fans the flexibility of forwarding their tickets via e-mail to their family and friends in the event they cannot make a game.
For any ticket-related issues, fans are encouraged to visit any of the five Ticket Relations Customer Service Areas at the following locations around Ben Hill Griffin Stadium:
Gate 1: Exterior Ticket Booth - West Side of Stadium
Gate 13: Student Ticket Office (services all student ticket concerns)
Gate 17: South Endzone
Gator Booster Lobby area: North Endzone
Ticket forwarding allows all fans with a purchased ticket to forward their ticket(s) to a friend via e-mail if they cannot attend the event. Fans who wish to learn more about Ticket Forwarding can visit www.GatorZone.com/tickets.
If fans have any questions relating to their ticket order, they can call a Gator Ticket Office Specialist toll-free at 1-800-344-2867 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.