By Michael Slother - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - After concession stands ran out of water during Sunday's football game against SMU, Texas Tech administration is working now to fix the problem. They want to make sure their new vendor is prepared for even bigger crowds like the ones expected in two weeks when Tech takes on the Texas Longhorns.
"It was insane to try and get a water," said sophomore transfer student Mallori Grambeau. Her first game day experience as a Red Raider wasn't what she expected. She says she had to re-use a cup for water on a day where temperatures reached near 100 degrees. "You bought the cup and then you could go back and get a free water but there was no ice," Grambeau said.
The lack of water was a hot topic on Red Raider fan sites and KCBD NewsChannel 11's Facebook page. One user offered a suggestion to have a water-only line. Not everybody had problems; Freshman Lindsey Kozlovsky found a line that was moving a little faster. "It was really quick, there was like 5 people in front of me, but I went through the cash only lane so maybe that was the thing."
Ovations Food Services handled concessions for the first time and didn't expect stands to run out of water. Meanwhile, Lubbock EMS Division Chief Tim Berry didn't expect so many to need medical attention. "We actually looked at the numbers and we had 4 times the number of patients that we had last year at the South Dakota game."
Berry says they had 88 patients and took 11 to the hospital with heat related injuries. That was the most on record for any single game. Patric Johnston didn't want to be one of those patients, and says he and other fans did some unusual things to stay hydrated. "I went to the bathroom a couple of times just to get a drink out of the sink because I didn't want to wait in line for 4 hours to get a bottle," Johnston continued. "People were picking up bottles off the ground just to fill them up."
Below is a statement from Ovations Food Services:
"We saw record numbers at the SMU game with extreme heat conditions. We have reviewed the game with our client and we will be adding more points of sale and increasing the number of vendors roaming the concourse to further enhance the game experience for our customers. We anticipate a great event when the University of Texas visits here on September 18th."
Texas Tech also released a statement through media relations:
"We are aware of service issues concerning concession operators at Jones AT&T Stadium on game day, and we are working with our vendors to ensure this doesn't happen again. Furthermore, we want fans to have a great experience at our events and will work diligently to find ways to better serve them."
Meanwhile, Tech Police arrested five people during Sunday's game. Four students were taken into custody for public intoxication. One was arrested for disorderly conduct. That person was not affiliated with Texas Tech University in any capacity.
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