2006 Monday Thoughts: The Northeastern Game

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Jim Weaver’s going to get grilled on tonight’s Hokie Hotline concerning the
huge traffic jam into Lane Stadium on Saturday. Nearly every gate into Lane was
backed up, and a large number of fans missed the run out of the tunnel, and also
missed kickoff, due to slow entry into the gates.

Most reports at this point are anecdotal, of course, and it’s hard for me
to pin down why things were so slow. One TSL poster reported that he
got into line 30 minutes before kickoff and still didn’t make it into the
stadium. I personally didn’t leave early, arriving in line at about 1:20, ten
minutes before kickoff, at the southeast corner of the stadium. That corner is
famous for big traffic jams, which is part of the reason that a new gate was
created behind the East stands, but the logjam on Saturday was bigger than
usual.

The crowd moved very slowly, but when the opening sounds of “Enter
Sandman” could be heard, the lines started moving quickly. Once I was
inside the gate, the ushers and security got pretty excited that I was carrying
an empty drink koozie, and I was told in stern terms that I had to throw it away. But other than that, I
didn’t see much bag checking or other security measures that would explain why
the line had been moving so slowly. Of course, being late, I can’t report on
what was going on before I got through the gate, only afterwards.

Some friends and posters reported that it was the new security measures that
were slowing things down. (VT is employing an outside firm for gate inspections
this year, instead of having the ticket takers/ushers handling it.) Others
reported that the ticket takers themselves were slow as molasses, while others
reported that some gates were not open.

Weaver will no doubt be asked tonight about the slow entry, probably by Bill
Roth before a caller can even bring it up. Entry into the stadium is being
handled differently this year, so he’ll probably attempt to explain what the
snags were and how they’ll be improved before the Duke game on September 16th.
In the past, explaining situations like this over the Hokie Hotline has not
always been Weaver’s strong suit, so it will be interesting to see what Weaver
has to say and how

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