University of Iowa ups security for last home football game after Paris attacks
'If you see something, say something'
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IOWA CITY — With the world on edge following last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, the University of Iowa is tightening security measures for its final home football game of the season Saturday.
The Hawkeyes kickoff against the Purdue Boilermakers at 11 a.m. in Kinnick Stadium, and UI police are asking the tens of thousands of fans expected to attend to arrive early and be prepared for a “more extensive screening process.”
The new screening process is modeled after that used in the National Football League and includes more stringent restrictions on purses and bags. David Visin, interim director of UI public safety, told The Gazette the changes are in response to the series of bombings and shootings in Paris last week that left 129 people dead and hundreds more injured.
Visin also cited similar actions at peer institutions — like Ohio State University and the University of Minnesota — in the decision to step up security for this weekend’s Hawkeye game.
Fans should expect to see more police and security officers before, during and after the game — although officials said the new measures are not tied to specific threats.
“We ask everyone for their assistance in making our last home game of the season as safe as possible for all of our friends and visitors,” Visin said. “If you see something, say something.”
A bag check area will be made available at the recreation building northwest of Kinnick Stadium for fans who need to store belongings during the game. That area will open at 9. m. and close one hour after the game ends.
Gates will open at 9:30 a.m. to allow fans to reach their seats by kickoff.
Fans can bring the following items into the stadium:
- bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 14-by-14 inches
- one-gallon clear plastic bags - Ziploc or similar
- small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, that do not exceed 4.5-by-6.5 inches
- diaper bags for fans with infants
- binoculars, blankets and seat cushions
- one sealed plastic water bottle
- any food contained in a one-gallon clear plastic bag
- exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at the gates
Items prohibited include, but are not limited to:
- alcohol, coolers, kegs, camel backs, thermoses, canned or bottled beverages
- backpacks, purses and handbags
- banners and signs
- large lens cameras and tripods
- noisemakers, horns, bugles or other disruptive devices
- personal seat backs
- tobacco of any kind