Stadium Security: "It's a different world...

Security will be stepped up for Saturday's game against Western Michigan. But what will be different?

Michigan fans will notice some changes on Saturday as they pass through gates into Michigan Stadium. The magnitude of the deaths in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania hasn't been lost on the University administration, which has instituted a number of changes in security, some noticeable, some not.

The most important thing: Allow extra time to get to your seat.

University of Michigan Director of Public Safety Bill Bess says that Michigan fans "shouldn't be surprised" if they are directed to an area inside the gates where their possessions may be searched. Coolers, large bags, backpacks, umbrellas and alcohol are banned, and purses and jackets may be searched to ensure safety, according to Bess.

"It's a different world out there," says Bess, noting the effect last week's terrorist attacks have had on everyone, especially the security-conscious UM administration.

"We are going to be asking for cooperation from everyone attending," Bess says.

Fans will notice a much larger uniformed presence. The usual contingent of UM Public Safety officers and Ann Arbor police  will be on hand. Michigan State Police troopers, Washtenaw Sheriff deputies and Pittsfield Township police also will be scanning the crowds.

While he declines to reveal specific security precautions, Bess notes that the increased security  will affect everyone, including the media, the players, coaches, referees and VIPs on the field and in the tunnel.

Whatever the changes, Bess recommends that all fans get to the stadium earlier than they would have before last week's sickening tragedies. That means that tailgaters can't dawdle to eat an extra hot dog or slam the extra beer. Getting through the gates will take extra time. No one likes missing the opening kick-off.


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