Starting this fall, prepare for an experience reminiscent of pro sports when entering Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium for games: metal detectors and security guards.
Kansas law requires state universities to allow concealed handguns on their campuses beginning July 1, but KU anticipates banning guns from athletic events where attendance is expected to be more than 5,000 people, according to newly released concealed carry implementation information from the university.
The next step is gaining formal approval from the Kansas Board of Regents to set up security measures at those facilities, required at some point before such measures are put in play, Regents spokeswoman Breeze Richardson said.
KU Athletics continues working with the university to iron out details for implementing a concealed handgun prohibition for games at Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium, deputy athletics director Sean Lester said.
But generally, he said, getting in will probably look a lot like it does at the Sprint Center, Arrowhead Stadium or Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
For men’s basketball games at Allen Fieldhouse, expect wands and portable metal detectors to ensure no one gets in with a gun, Lester said. The number of entrances may need to be reduced, which could slow down the process of getting fans to their seats.
“We want the experience at Allen Fieldhouse to be a great one,” Lester said. “So we’re going to assess it thoroughly.”
Security measures at Memorial Stadium will probably be similar, he said, but KU Athletics and the university are still working out details to deal with implementation in the “antiquated” facility with a myriad of entry points.
Paying for all of this is estimated to cost more than $1 million, Lester said. He said funding would come from KU Athletics' operating budget.
“Metal detectors aren’t cheap,” he said.
Capacity at Allen Fieldhouse — where a large percentage of fans squeeze side by side onto bench seats — is 16,300, according to Jim Marchiony, KU associate athletics director for public affairs. Men’s basketball games currently are the only events there that draw crowds over 5,000.
Memorial Stadium's capacity is 50,000, Marchiony said.
Rock Chalk Park's capacity is between 7,500 and 10,000, but only a few track and field events a year have the potential to draw more than 5,000 people, Marchiony said.
The Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act requires state universities to allow the lawful carry of concealed handguns on their campuses beginning July 1 of this year. If universities want to prohibit guns from any particular facility — permanently or temporarily — they must put in place adequate security measures such as metal detectors and guards.
Kansas Board of Regents policy further states that if this is done at athletic events, a notice must be printed on tickets that guns won’t be allowed in.
Requests to implement security measures and prohibit guns from certain facilities or events must be approved in open session by the Regents governance committee, and may also be taken up by the full Board of Regents if the committee or board wishes, Richardson said.
No universities have brought proposals to the board yet, she said.
Regents policy also allows for universities to prohibit guns in certain restricted access areas, such as labs with sensitive material that are not accessible to the public, Richardson said. Regents policy requires universities to notify the governance committee of those areas, she said, but they won’t be listed publicly due to security concerns.
The lawful concealed carry of handguns will be allowed on the University of Kansas campus beginning July 1, 2017.
KU has created a website, concealedcarry.ku.edu, packed with information about the impending change to the law.
The site explains the law and provides information for students, employees and visitors to campus. There are also answers to frequently asked questions and suggestions for what to do in an active shooter situation or how to help someone you suspect of being at risk to harm themselves or others.
The Office of the Provost plans an upcoming informational session from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 15 in 120 Budig Hall. The session will feature select campus experts sharing information and answering questions about the law and its implementation at KU.