Monday, October 7, 2013

KU to look into ‘ways to improve’ procedures for Late Night

Kansas fans unable to enter pile up at an entrance on the north side of Allen Fieldhouse after the maximum amount had been let in for Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas fans unable to enter pile up at an entrance on the north side of Allen Fieldhouse after the maximum amount had been let in for Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University associate athletic director, public affairs Jim Marchiony issued a statement Monday addressing problems related to fans storming the various entrances of Allen Fieldhouse for general admission seating at Friday's Late Night in the Phog:

"We appreciate and share the concerns some have expressed about entry into Friday night's Late Night in the Phog," the statement began. "We constantly critique ourselves, looking for ways to improve how we conduct our events. Clearly the procedures Kansas Athletics has used effectively for many years at Late Night did not work effectively Friday night. As a result we will review and address all facets of the event, including communication, security, and even whether it should remain a general-admission, no-ticket event.

"Late Night is a terrific event that our fans look forward to and enjoy every year. We want to keep it that way - allowing as many fans as possible to be a part of it - while at the same time addressing what must be our Number One concern: the safety of those fans."

Marchiony said charging admission has not been discussed as an option.

The event is general admission for the most part, with about 1,000 tickets distributed for donors in the top three giving levels. Also, some seats are reserved for recruits and their families and family members of players and coaches. Tickets are given to those individuals. Marchiony did say in an interview after release of the statement that KU officials were disappointed at reports that some fans charged to the front of the line once the doors opened. A dangerous situation was created at some entrances with fans storming into the building.

"We wouldn't have to be talking about this if that behavior hadn't manifested itself. But we also have to look at how we conduct the event and make judgments going forward," Marchiony said.


Randy Glenn 8 years ago

Donate food=get a ticket!!! Add crowd control!!

Lance Cheney 8 years ago

And the more/better food you donate, the better your ticket!

Jonathan Allison 8 years ago

tickets remain general admission, else the spirit of Late Night is lost.

Lance Cheney 8 years ago

I believe the spirit of Late Night was lost when thousands of self-centered numbskulls cut in line without regard to others' well-being and other social codes.

miajhwk 8 years ago

tickets = resale market = $tubhub

Lance Cheney 8 years ago

Well they could just tattoo the tickets on the fan's face, that way they couldn't resell them.

jaybate 8 years ago

KU Technical Clothing Line NOW!!

I also want AD Sheahan to look into a new marketing connection of technical clothing. I am positive this would become a big seller for vacationing Jayhawks. Kuhl is my favorite line in this regard, but any number of outfits could do it. Adidas could certainly do it, if they ever hired some designers that understood what clothing is really about. Imagine Kuhl making a KU-Kuhl line of technical clothing. Consider a crimson and blue plaid high performance shirt (long sleeve for skiing and short for travel to the Bahamas!!!). None of that farmer flannel crud like I see on the web ads occasionally (note: man the algorithm trying to find what I like is NOT WORKING). Serious wicking, high performance fabrics. KU plays in some great places now. France. Switzerland. Bahamas. Hawaii. And Jayhawkers travel all over the world, because we are fundamentally Kool people on the look out for great places to go. We need some Kool threads to go there...threads that don't necessarily mark us as tourists, but embed the school colors in code. Technical clothing is a great vehicle for embedding school colors. Rock Chalk!!!

jacpac57 8 years ago

The statement that only 1000 were given to donors may be correct but how many to buisness's the entire west section was reserved, the most it has ever been, maybe 5000 reserved. Coach Self even made a statement that they had gotten the most requests for tickets than ever before. That is why so many didnt get in the building. It was ridiculous. I got there at 1:30 and maybe 300 - 400 were ahead of me at one of the north doors. People started sitting by the parking garage and when it got close to 5 they came over and got in line, or should I say shoved in line. I would say about 300 students got in line about 5 also. It was ridiculous I was scared that I would be trampled but couldnt get out. They shoved the cattle gates down and we had to walk on them, luckily a nice student told us to step up when he tripped. How somebody didnt get hurt I dont know. There was never KU police anywhere to be found except inside just looking the other way. I went over and said he needed to do something before someone got hurt and he didnt even respond just a blank stare like leave me alone. Also felt sorry for the ones collecting food because very few brought any. The ladies I was with did and they were very grateful.

texashawk10 8 years ago

Keep it free, but make people register for a ticket by a certain date and then do a lottery system for who gets admission. You can also have people wait outside that don't have a ticket and those people get in if they are some no shows because there are always going to be a handful of no shows for whatever reason. You also need to have a couple of security guards at every entrance just to keep things from getting out of hand like it did Friday.

I also believe part of the problem was the weekend that Late Night was on. At least while I was a student at KU, Late Night was always the Friday during Fall Break so that greatly reduced the number of students on campus for Late Night and the ones stuck on campus weren't really basketball fans. This year, Late Night was Homecoming weekend so all the students are on campus and able to attend an event they haven't historically been in town for.

BainDread 8 years ago

Regarding your suggestion of a lottery for free tickets, some people would use it as an opportunity to make money by selling their free tickets. I really don't like the thought of that happening, especially if it were KSU and Missouri fans doing the scalping. I don't see any way to make sure only KU fans get in the lottery.

texashawk10 8 years ago

There are ways around that. If you're familiar with how Flash Tickets work, that's a very simple way around people selling Late Night tickets. If you're not familiar with how they work, when a person buys a flash ticket, the ticket is sent to the person's credit card and the credit card used to buy a ticket is swiped at the entrance to gain admission. The way this would work for Late Night would be a person has to register for the lottery with a credit card (put a limit on the number of tickets a person can register for) and then the family has to use the credit card registered with to gain admission.

rcjh88 8 years ago

open the field house at noon or earlier, and show old KU bball games on the scoreboard. They will make a lot of money on concessions and stop the flood of 16,000 all at once!

jaybate 8 years ago

I already wrote on this.

500-1000 students paid in preferred, reserved seating, work pre-game crowd control under the supervision of university security in teams of 20. Campers are escorted into numbered campgrounds. Camp grounds are filled up in series. The camp grounds are not up close to the doors, but act as a ring of defense obstructing access to the doors through which persons will eventually enter the field house under escort. Students Crowd Management Volunteers in teams supervise the camp grounds to make sure there isn't any vaulting in after each camp fills. Again, the camp grounds form an inner ring/barrier around the single entrance being used. Campers in Camp Ground 1 are escorted in first, but only once their camp ground is cleaned up and tidy. Campers in Camp Ground 2 are escorted in second and so on. Beyond the camp grounds is where the lines form. They line cutters are dealt with by uniformed university security. Boom! Problem solved.


Post Script: I also like this idea of people donating a can of food to get in exchange for a ticket. Campers, and everyone else coming after should be asked to do it. The modification I would make is that it should not be a can, but rather a bag of dried emergency food of the kind back packers and preppers hoard. Cans can begin to be thrown as stones by unruly drunks. Dry bags of food cannot be weaponized and the bags of food will last many years. Cabelas and REI and all backpacking/ camping places carry it. Its also a lot healthier than most canned food students would drag in from grocery stores.

rcjh88 8 years ago

there have never been camping groups for late night, only for games. The students shouldn't be able to save 50 spots in any line for this event, especially after a certain time. There were students crowding in at 515, it was ridiculous. For this event the general public has just as much right to get in first as the students do, that is part of what makes this event so awesome. I love late night, and I was very sad that it went the way it did Friday night.

jaybate 8 years ago

Well, maybe not in the 21st Century, but back in the 1970s, when I was at KU, some big games were camped out for. Frat houses pitched a tent, or a group of lawn chairs, and students were rotated round the clock for up to a day and a half to ensure getting in to the bleachers behind both benches.

rcjh88 8 years ago

Sorry Jay, I misunderstood what you were saying, I thought you meant camping groups for students only. I think that is a good idea that you have!

jaybate 8 years ago

no problema. we are all winging it here. somethings always get lost in translation.

if journalism is history in a hurry, then blogging is journalism in an eye blink. :-)

pepper_bar 8 years ago

My understanding is that in prior years, KU staff would hand out tickets to people in line 30-60 minutes before the doors opened, but this year the just-in-time ticket distribution didn't take place, which led to the bum rush from the back of the line to get in. Is my understanding incorrect?

longhawk 8 years ago

It wasn't just fans charging the front at the end. It was the students who spent the last half hour walking past thousands of people who had traveled from out of town and spent hours in line. Inconsiderate little brats just marched right up and gave themselves a place of honor.

jacpac57 8 years ago

They handed them out when you got inside, that was a joke too.

jgkojak 8 years ago

"We wouldn't have to be talking about this if that behavior hadn't manifested itself. But we also have to look at how we conduct the event and make judgments going forward," Marchiony said. - Wow. Still blaming fans.

There was no security and no effort made on the part of KU Athletics - given they certainly had a role in hyping this event (rightfully) -- why did they not expect to need additional security outside the building? There was NO ONE.

Had they simply had 3-4 people standing in front of the doors OUTSIDE, etc. from 5 - 530 this could have been prevented. A few rope lines keeping people in line? Simple stuff, but they seemed to be asleep at the switch this year.

1) Block off the first 15 feet or so in front of the doors with tables/personnel so the gate is actually outside - no one can rush doors.

2) Station a person outside the South and North handicapped / special ticket entrances to make sure that gateway is not mauled by fans.

3) Send KU relations people out into the crowds with freebies/give-aways for fans, keep people entertained/happy while in line.

Teri Kinney-Bishop 8 years ago

We think alike...I was just typing that if there were 4 security guys OUTSIDE the doors and made everyone be in single files outside the doors prior to opening them and handed them tickets. If the curve around that was coming up the center had a definite end and started a second line from the center. If there there ropes with security at each roped line. This does not seem like the KU fans are expecting much. Just common sense and solutions that should not have to be explained to KU Athletics on a message board. When there are 16k-22k people - just lined up in imaginary lines on a lawn- what could go wrong?

Teri Kinney-Bishop 8 years ago

There will not be any 100% solution... but for the athletic department to keep saying over and over -- if the fans did not start this we wouldn't be having this conversation is ridiculous. It is like when someone says... "I am sorry.... that you feel that way". We got there at 130... and the lines were spread WAY out. Not one KU security, even as the line was along the street. Finally someone - somewhere- must have told the line to move up. So now me and my 14 yr old daughter are on the north curve around side of building. Sitting under the trees, there are students, parents and all. Thousands of people -- BUT no security. What college has any event that does not have visible security? If they want to keep saying that it did not happen before-- well fine-- it did not happen before-- count yourself lucky.

Tyler Miranda 8 years ago

This is an easy fix - $5 general admission - all proceeds go to local charities. Cheap enough for students and affordable for families as well. Sell them all on-line prior to the event.

poet008 8 years ago

What is the KU administration doing to get us into a stable conference?

Do any of the people on these boards read the Oklahoma newspapers online?

Their main sportswriter is screaming to get into the SEC or Big Ten.

The Texas blogger Tuxedo Yoda says Oklahoma and Texas have already been offered by the Big Ten.

The conference stability issue is the only thing this site should be talking about. Period.

Michael Bennett 8 years ago

The Big 12 is stable now. We have our own (sizable) pie now, why would we try to dig into someone else's and get a smaller piece? You're a couple years behind pal...

poet008 8 years ago

Stable? Have you seen the grant of rights? Why would you believe OU and UT were out one day but are happy go lucky now?

All of the "tradition" of the basketball program isn't going to mean anything when KU is in the Mountain West.

Does the name UCONN ring any bells?

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years ago

My daddy always said "never trust a man named Tuxedo!"

Jason Spangler 8 years ago

Yep. KU is in crisis mode after Saturday imo

Pitthawk34 8 years ago

It was worse than a black Friday at Orschelns in manhattan.

kay_you 8 years ago

I'd rather see KUAD study ways to improve the football program. So some people miss Late Night. Big Deal.

Dan Cook 8 years ago

I'm surprised the university couldn't see this coming weeks in advance, but they certainly should have seen it coming by early afternoon. At 2:30pm it was a total zoo all around AFH with people lined up everywhere, cars circling the building trying to find parking, people walking in the streets, etc. It was neat to see everyone, but the first thing I said to the guy I was with was "As soon as the doors open, this is going to be a Who concert." KU Athletics couldn't see a problem developing and make midday adjustments even if they had missed the boat to that point? Ridiculous.

The interest level was certainly high this year, but a big factor was also the earlier date. Had this been the same Friday as in previous years, it would have been mid-term break and the number of potential attendees would have been reduced. Another reason why KU should have been more prepared.

Michael Luby 8 years ago

Think about this line up for a second. In the event that we face Kentucky, C.S. could play Selden at point, then Wigs,Ellis,Tarik and Jojo. That is a huge huge line up. Provided Selden has the handles and the vision to play "emergency point" and that Jojo Embiid will be ready to play starter minutes at Center by late season, this line up could be unstoppable.

Larry Ralston 8 years ago

While getting into late night was not a problem for me, the issue was that I am disabled and have limited mobility. I used the limited mobility entrance on the south side of the building and got in fairly easy. The problem was that the people who were bum rushing the front doors were allowed in for a good 5 - 7 minutes BEFORE those of us with limited mobility were allowed in. Once we were allowed in, the crowd was still in "BUM RUSH" mode and I was nearly trampled. I was pushed several times and was pressed into the wall. If not for the wall I definitely would have been knocked to the floor. After fighting the "unruly" crowd I finally got to an usher and he assisted my party and I to seating for those with limited mobility. The only real problem for me was that 2 of the 4 people in my party are disabled to the point that we cannot negotiate stairs. I informed the usher of this but we still had to climb stairs.

My one request would be that those of us with limited mobility be allowed to enter a minute or two before all others to allow us to get to our seats without the risk of injury. Many of the people that were using the limited mobility entrance were using a cane, walker, scooter or wheelchair to get around. I also watched a young lady in a power chair get run into by people running to their seats. This type of activity is really unacceptable. people like me cannot risk further injury due to rude people OR those who are operating the event being either unaware of our "special needs" or just plain not caring.

Finally, I agree that there was a complete lack of security during the wait outside. There were people that were waiting at the limited mobility entrance who were not "limited" but stated "EFF THAT, I AINT WAITING IN THAT EFFING LINE! EFF THEM!" Although I reported this to a police officer outside the building BEFORE the doors were opened, NOTHING was done. Also, the lack of communication was appalling. As stated doors were not opened at the same time but even worse, I contacted the fieldhouse days PRIOR to Late Night and asked about provisions for those of us who are disabled and was told that there were none. We would have to wait in the line out front and then find an usher once inside to get provided seating. After waiting in the line out front for several hours, I asked a man in a red vest, (who was trying to "compact" the line), if they had provisions for the disabled and he said he did not know but he suggested I ask at the ticket office. I left the line out front and walked to the ticket office and asked them and they advised of the south limited mobility entrance. I am sure this problem runs deep within the fieldhouse and needs to be addressed. ROCK CHALK!

JayhawkRock78 8 years ago

kufan, I was there with my invalid father and your post is spot on. As it was I had tickets in advance which meant nothing at the door. I also told an official you should open the doors for invalids now while it is safe. Not only did they ignore me, you could see and hear the crowd rushing towards Allen when it opened. It was at least 5 minutes before we were allowed in-and the tunnels were packed. KU was very lucky nobody was hurt, and I feel bad for those who played by the rules waiting in line only to be left in the cold thanks to uncivilized jerks who don't respect others. I wish KU had a video of it all and could ID the guilty parties. I would like to see them banned from AFH for good.

drum1984 8 years ago

There were plenty of students who camped out all day and got left out too. The tone of these "students these days" comments is pretty ridiculous. The fault for this lies in one place, and that is with KU Athletics for a complete abdication of duty in organizing admittance. Chaos like that happens when an organization does nothing to give people a sense of procedure and order for the lines. And then for them to blame the fans for their own failure is pretty insulting. Marchiony needs to take a long look in the mirror.

jhawkjunkie 8 years ago

Tickets were handed out to some fans at the North entrance at around 6:00 which lead many of us to believe there were still a few seats available inside and we were some of the lucky last few to get in. At 6:30 we were told the Fieldhouse was full. When asked why KU didn't try to stop the on rush of students at the back of the line to the doors, the reply was "What are people who are makin $8.00 supposed to do?" Next year, I think the only was is to block off the grassy area between Naismith Drive and the Fieldhouse somehow.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years ago

1) Students only

2) Students and donors only

3) Charge admission and money is divided to local charities

4) Consider it part of season ticket package and keep the money

DanR 8 years ago

Students only. Problem solved. (and, no, I'm not a student)

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years ago

Me neither! But let the kids have there fun with other kids.

JayhawkPurist 8 years ago

I attended several Late Nights in the early- to mid-1990s, and they were always held after a women's volleyball game. This enabled people who were interested only in Late Night to file in over the course of several hours, and there were never any reports of cutting in line, trampling, etc. Why doesn't KU go back to this formula?

soapisurfriend 8 years ago

Kelly Oubre just tweeted that he's got big news tomorrow. I'd say an announcement for Kansas!

Jason Spangler 8 years ago

Who the hell cares about a basketball practice? Fix the freaking football team or we'll be playing in the Mountain West...

Adam McEwen 8 years ago

I always kinda liked seeing the fieldhouse fill with 16,000 people in 30 seconds..

GD4TREY 8 years ago

This was by FAR the worst experience I ever had at Late Night! Although we got in, some of the students just displayed no respect whatsoever for anyone but themselves. We were on the the north side by the parking gararge and there was a couple of students directing students that were just arriving to the parking garage so the could rush in when they started letting people in. There was a rather large student that looked like a lineman from the football team that just lowered down an started pushing people forward. One other mistake was that they started letting in people at the front entrance first!! A good five minutes before the north side! And when they did start letting people in, students rushed the doors from all sides! The passed everyone that was waitin for hours on the sidewalk, stampeding past on the grass, climbing through and over the bushes and pushing everyone forward or aside as we tried to get in. We had a three and seven year old with us, and especially the three year old were scared to death. I saw another little kid bawling. That was by far a big black eye on KU athletic department. Then to add insult to injury, there were at least several hundred empty seats around the arena! In section 114 where we were, there was at least 50 empty seats in our section!! Your students that did this showed a total disregard for anyone by themselves! They should really make their parents proud!!

Dale Stringer 8 years ago

I didn't make it in because I was one of those that didn't rush to front. And you can't place all the blame on the students since they weren't the only ones to line jump. Part of the reason was the lines themselves. The beginning of the two lines on the east side started at the statue and then went to the sidewalk. People who showed up at 2:00 were at the corners of the sidewalks where it turn back to the fieldhouse. People who got there at 5:25, were thiry feet from the doors. Once the first person turned to cut, then everyone else thought they should be immoral too.

I like the idea above to open earlier (I believe that at two would work). I would get to spent some time walking around looking at everything before finding a seat. If they stick with the same door openning time, they better put up some barrier to keep people in line. Robes won't work, people go underthem. I think some snow fence would work though.

pepper_bar 8 years ago

Three days on, still zero accountability for this fiasco taken on by the KU athletic department. Embarrassing.

Steve Corder 8 years ago

Easy: add it to the ticket package. The way the football program is going the A Department will need the revenue.

It sounds like one heck of a show! Charge like it's Las Vegas, baby!

Michael Leiker 8 years ago

I may be in the minority, but I don't think a lot of season ticket holders are very interested in Late Night, seems to be the thing you go to if you don't have season tickets. If it was part of the package I think attendance would be 60% of capacity or so.

jhawk1998 8 years ago

I call bull on Marchiony. This is the last step before ticket sales for late night. Before this year it was completely free, no reserved seats or tickets. All of a sudden this year - oh we are giving donors reserved seats/tickets. By coincidence no crowd control. The perfect storm to recommend ticket sales. All of this could have been avoided simply by following procedures in place for prior years.

Michael Leiker 8 years ago

Turn it back in to a real Late Night and not a 7pm start...not sure how many 85+ year olds attended that would actually consider this a Late Night. And, do it at the beginning of when practice starts, not a week later. Opportunistic athletics administrators continue to ruin long standing traditions.

Swamphawk 8 years ago

Do this, and open the doors around noon or earlier. Rather than a flood of people, you'd get a trickle all afternoon. I can't imagine that a minimal staff would be that hard to maintain for a half of a day.

Enoughsaid 8 years ago

Its seems for some reason or another, KU for the last several years has been making the headlines over very negative issues. For a well oiled machine they are in dire needs of an overhaul. Chancellor are you listening, you have some highly paid staff members that are very good about doing nothing. The only respond after the fire is out of control and the media is all over the issues.

I recall last year students were camped out at the Fieldhouse and a campus cop was assigned to watch over the crowd of students. This officer when questioned, stated no bathrooms were accessible due to the Fieldhouse was locked. As a parent of a student that bothered me that KU would assigned an officer to watch over the crowd of students but not provide any restrooms. It seems selling basketball tickets was their main focus. I lodged a complaint with the local health department and was later informed that the health department had no jurisdiction over KU. My word to the students, if your are standing in line all night to buy basketball tickets, find a Jayhawk to pee on.

miajhwk 8 years ago

where is LJW / keegan editorial on this issue?

Deb Fitch 8 years ago

too many seats were reserved as others have pointed out. They have already priced the average fan out of being able to come to a game live and Late Night was their only chance to see players live. The people that can afford to donate $10000 or more have tickets, they don't need special privileges for Late Night. Also don't schedule it on homecoming weekend. It stands alone! And having it when students are on fall break doesn't hurt either but just not having it homecoming weekend would help.

Paul Rupp 8 years ago

To borrow from Saturday Night Live---KU's surprise and not preparing for this sounds as idiodic as a case of 1-800 Flowers being surprised by Valentine's Day.

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