MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The simplest advice remains the most effective advice in the mind of the City of Morgantown’s top cop.
But following it, Ed Preston said earlier this week, will help WVU and ECU fans have their best possible fan experience Saturday.
“Do not be distracted while you are crossing the roads,” Chief Ed Preston said. “Cross the crosswalk, don’t walk out in front of traffic, and don’t walk out in traffic watching your cell phone. Pay attention to what’s going on.”
That advice, Chief Preston said, is apparently once again needed following a minor accident on Beechurst Avenue earlier this month where a pedestrian was struck by a truck while they were looking at their phone during a crossing.
But Preston said that’s not the only thing that worries him Saturday. Even with a noon kick, which he previously told WAJR offers less stress than mid-afternoon and prime time night games, he said there will always be a group of people who “become the news” during a WVU game.
“No open containers on public streets — still not allowed,” he said. “Public consumption is still not allowed, and if you’re drunk in public you might get a visit from somebody in uniform.”
He would prefer his officers can simply ‘police’ the situation without going into full ‘law enforcement mode,’ as he describes it, but Preston is fairly certain his officers will have their work cut out for them. He said one way fans can help is by making their way to the stadium early — meaning don’t wait until the last minute to try to get through the gates.
“Don’t try to stay in the tailgates and then expect to leave ten minutes before kick-off and then expect to get into the gate,” he said. “Not going to happen.”
WVU’s new clear bag policy, which makes them the seventh Big 12 program to implement one, is expected to be an additional hold-up at the gates of Milan Puskar Stadium. Being well-versed on the new policy, Preston said, will help save time for fans getting into the stadium.
“It’s going to take some adjustment, and we expect the adjustment,” he said. “But you’re not bringing bags into the stadium. In this day and age, it’s a pure safety issue. That’s going to be strictly enforced.”
Clear bags will be available at the gates, but fans will not be permitted to bring non-clear bags — other than small clutches and bags deemed medically necessary — into the stadium Saturday. They’ll be asked to return those bags to their vehicle otherwise.
WVU hosts ECU at noon. Preston is recommending commuters use the main and primary arteries to enter and exit Morgantown.
Stay with your local MetroNews affiliate or follow us online for the latest traffic conditions during Saturday’s award-winning coverage of Mountaineer football.