Students Let Into Ohio State Game Without Swiping IDs Due To Mayhem At Gate A
Last Saturday’s game against Ohio State was crazy, but the madness ensued long before the clock wound down and Penn State became the No. 24 team in the country. With Beaver Stadium’s increased security measures, it has been taking fans noticeably longer to get into games, both students and non-students alike, but this weekend, things at Gate A things got so hectic that stadium personnel started letting students in without swiping their ID cards.
Students at the gate were crammed trying to get in the gate with 20 minutes to go before kickoff, but as 8 p.m. drew closer, the line — if you could even call it that — became more and more hectic. People were shoving against one another to try to get closer to the gates, but because of the metal detector wands and the fact that the large group had to bottleneck into a single line, people were shoved to the ground.
When students got to the part of the line where security normally checks student IDs to make sure each student is using his or her own ID card, guards instead just told students to go in and ushered them through a line with a closed ticket window. Associate Athletic Director Jeff Nelson said this was done to alleviate some of the madness and make things safer for students.
Students were just happy to be in the game at that point, which had already kicked off, but they soon realized they had no way to actually get into the stands without a ticket. After explaining the situation to stadium personnel at the entrances to the student sections, my group was told we wouldn’t be able to enter without a ticket…which we didn’t have. In our, er, excited states, my group just ran down into the section before the guards could stop us (although one member was grabbed and told she couldn’t enter, so she went to another section). Others, however, said they went back to Gate A and swiped their IDs for tickets once things calmed down.
Associate Athletic Director Jeff Nelson said the decision to let students in without swiping was done in concern for safety.
“Public safety officials acted out of concern for the safety of students,” Nelson said. “To our knowledge, a similar event has never happened before and we are taking corrective action to help ensure that an event like this never happens again.”
The quick thinking to let students in without swiping was necessary to alleviate the chaos, but it seems there was no way to avoid the ensuing miscommunication because of how quickly everything happened. Though the number of students attending the game (and their level of intoxication because it was 8 p.m.) was probably higher than usual, Beaver Stadium needs to make sure it is prepared to handle getting crowds through their security measures and through the gates without anyone getting hurt.