Attempt to let fans self-hydrate results in mass confusion

Refillable water bottles lie discarded just outside Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday, August 31 2013.  Matt Hellman | Lariat Multimedia Editor
Refillable water bottles lie discarded just outside Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday, August 31 2013.
Matt Hellman | Lariat Multimedia Editor
Unclear water bottle regulations cause frustration at football game

By Maleesa Johnson
Staff Writer

Dozens of water bottles were left trashed outside Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday despite a new policy allowing outside water bottles into the stadium.

“I had water, but I threw it away,” Coppell freshman Victoria Clark said. “I didn’t know we were allowed to bring it inside.”

Some students, such as Lubbock senior Hayden Murphy, witnessed game attendees not being allowed to take in their own hard plastic water bottles. Murphy said he took two bottles in, but they were disposable.

“To be on the safe side this Saturday for the game attendees should bring regular plastic water bottles,” Lori Fogleman, Assistant Vice President for Media Communications, said. “Like those you would buy at the store.”

The Baylor Athletics policy preventing outside bottles of water in the stadium has been suspended for the first two games and could be extended depending on the weather. Executive Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Nick Joos said there have been exceptions made in the past regarding this policy.

“When it is hot, we do make exceptions for folks because it’s important for them to stay hydrated,” Joos said. “So that was the case last week for the Wofford game and will be the case again this week for the Buffalo game.”

According to the official Baylor Bears website, bottled water for personal use is the only exception to the rule of no outside food and beverages. Joos said each person in attendance may bring up to two personal-sized water bottles. These bottles do not have to be sealed.
Joos said due to the lack of requirement to have sealed bottles, there is a concern of alternate beverages being brought inside the water bottles. However, no added measure is being taken.

“For all games unless we make an exception, outside bottled water, outside food, any of that is not allowed into the stadium or in the Ferrell Center,” said Joos. “That follows what rules other people have as well.”

There has been confusion over what type of water bottles, or if any, are allowed inside the stadium.

In spite of unsealed water bottles being allowed in the stadium, senior Ashley Grodecki was not allowed to bring in her opened disposable water bottle.

“I tried to take it in and they wouldn’t let me,” Grodecki said. “They wouldn’t let me take it in because it was already opened.”

Game attendee Brent Stone packed six bottles of water in his backpack for himself and his two daughters. After opening his backpack to reveal the bottles, he was allowed into the stadium.

“I just told them I had six bottles of water and pistachios and they let us in without a problem,” Stone said.

Southlake senior Anna Shurtleff had a different experience.

“My boyfriend and I each brought a nice, large, $15 water bottle, the kind with a freezer core and a straw, and were told we could not bring them in,” Shurtleff wrote in an email to the Lariat. “The attendant said even if we dumped out the water he would still have to confiscate them.”

Shurtleff said they could not return the water bottles to a car because they rode the shuttle to the game.

Baylor Athletics Department received complaints after the games that took place in this degree of heat last year. In spite of the high temperatures during the first football game last year, students were not allowed to bring any beverage into the stadium. As The Lariat previously reported, many students suffered from heat related illnesses and the EMS and event staff were seen offering assistance to students that had passed out. Anyone trying to purchase water below the stands had to wait in long lines.

“Baylor’s game management meetings leading up to this year they decided that if the heat was oppressive, which it is, we would allow water bottles into the stadium,” Fogleman said.