LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As Texas Tech prepares to hose the NCAA Regional Baseball tournament this week, the triple-digit heat is a factor for the fans, players and staff.
Models are showing daytime highs between 104 and 108 degrees on Friday. This will be the hottest air mass we have seen across the region this year.
"Fortunately, we've been through this before. This is our third Regional, in a row, to host, so it's always generally warmer out here, so we have a heat management plan that we enact if the temperature is over a certain amount," says Texas Tech Senior Associate Athletic Director Robert Giovanetti.
Texas Tech hosts New Mexico State at 1 p.m. Friday. Kent State and Louisville will play at 6 p.m. that night.
Giovanetti says they have a plan to keep fans and players cool.
"We're going to have a big water refilling station, so people can bring in one 20-ounce, unopened bottle of water in a plastic container and then they can refill it for free, down on the first base side of the concourse, underneath. And we want to make sure everyone stays hydrated and is safe. Safety of our fans is our first concern. We'll also have cooling stations on both sides, the first and third base sides, where there will be big fans that blow cool air. There will be some misting there and also some wet towels and ice if they need that. And we'll also have free sunscreen, for those that forget their sunscreen."
Umbrellas are not allowed, but there are some shaded areas in the stands, under the awning and there will be more shade after 2 p.m. when the sun starts to set in the West.
"We're aware of what it'll be like on Friday and Saturday's game also in the afternoon. And we'll have 2 p.m. games on Saturday and Sunday, so we'll keep an eye on the weather and make sure that we're there and we're very aware of what's going on for our fans, and have a lot of ems here to look out for them as well."
Giovanetti also says if you have a general admission ticket, you will want to get to the ballpark early on Friday to try to get one of the shaded seats. If you have special needs, let the staff know when you get there.
"We have 300 student tickets available that will be first come, first served. If the students come out Thursday morning and line up, and we'll give them tickets. As long as their fees are paid and everything else, they just wait in line and they'll get their tickets."
He says students are a big part of the atmosphere and they want to make sure the students are taken care of.
Remember, the clear bag policy will be in effect. Fans will be able to bring the following style and size bag, package or container into the venue:
- Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12." (Official Texas Tech team logo clear plastic tote bags will be available through The Matador and United Supermarkets).
- One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
- Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the venue with one of the clear plastic bags.
- An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection.
The following items will be prohibited from entering any Texas Tech athletic venue: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, non-approved seat cushions and chairbacks*, luggage of any kind, computer bags, camera bags, diaper bags or binocular cases.