Stadium policies

Soon, my family is driving 10 hours to go to a college football game.  This is mainly to please my 16 year old, who roots for this team with all his heart.

I looked up the stadium policies online, so that there would be no surprised on game day.  It's one of these massive stadiums that seats over 87,000 people, so I figure regulations might be tight.

"Umbrellas, video cameras, still cameras with detachable lenses (SLR-type), backpacks, recording devices, artificial noisemakers, food/beverage containers, bottles, weapons, stadium seats with arms and alcoholic beverages are not allowed inside xxx Stadium, as well as items deemed inappropriate or unsafe by stadium personnel."

Hmmm.  Going to this game is a park the car and stay gone from it from 8 hours kind of thing--huge amounts of walking all over campus, far from car.  My plan was his smallish backpack with an insulated lunchbox for the insulin (game in deep South in the afternoon), meter, pricker, syringes, insulin, some juices, snacks, etc.  Sure, there is food in stadium, but not that you can get on a moment's notice.

Called the ticket office.  Basically was told that was just tough.  I kept arguing, saying that certainly they wouldn't want to keep from son from carrying what he medically needs.  And food is a medical need sometimes from a type 1 diabetic.

Finally got transferred to the athletic office.  They said he would need a letter from doctor stating need to carry these things.  And that I would have to call back tomorrow to speak to "Judy," who was gone for the day, but who could tell us exactly what we need to do.

Ai-yi-yi.  I'm so glad I'm handling this in advance.  A scene at the stadium gate is just what my son needs to teach him the lesson to not carry with him what he needs.

But so what happens when he goes off to college?  If he goes to a school with huge athletic facilities and he wants to go to games?  He'll have to go through stuff like this all the time?  Should we just laminate the letter from the doctor?  Or will he just learn the lesson that I'm trying to put off for two years of not carrying with him what he needs?

We've taken him to the Lincoln Center events in NYC (Opera and Symphony) and just showed them everything in his bag and there's been no problem.

Thoughts?  Stories?

when i was at iowa state, i went to several college football games. they have similar rules, but (honestly) no one enforced them. i always had my purse with me with my supplies in it as well as some extra cash in case i needed it. i didn't bring a backpack, though. would it be possible for you to carry a big purse that day? (you know there are some ladies who practically carry suitcases around). there are usually zippered pockets inside where you could shove the food and no one would notice. (i'm also one of those people who brings my own food and snacks to the movie theater, so i'm awesome about hiding food and 20 oz bottles of pop). because it's medical necessity, i've only been argued with once about bringing my own things in, and trust me - they regretted it afterwards. i told my mom about it and she raised complete hell. (go mommies!)

i would go ahead and do whatever the stadium tells you as a precaution, but from my own experience it was never an issue. i flashed my student ID card, showed them my ticket, let them see the inside of my purse for weapons, and that was it. i'm not sure where you're going or if it might have stricter rules, but the safe and "official" way is probably a better option. if they continue to harrass you about it, i would take it to the athletic director and the president of the college and let them know EXACTLY how unsatisfied and disappointed and angry you are. taking it right to the top has always worked out well for me :D

good luck, angie. i hope things work out for you! let us know how it goes.

To be honest, I usually bring in a little less then you on game day. I agree that snacks are not readily available in case of lows, but why not bring glucose tabs or candy, something you can stick in a pocket, and then you can supplement that with the food available around you. Also, depending on the stadium, the insulin might not need to be cooled if it isn't too hot out. If we can figure out a way to reduce the amount of stuff you need to bring, we can ditch the bag.

As a guy who went to a huge hockey school, and loved to go to games, I would always try to stuff as much stuff into my pockets as possible. What I couldn't put in my pockets, I would ask my friends to carry. Whenever I would get patted down and the security would feel a bulge of supplies in my pocket I would be honest and say its my diabetic supplies. I would never have to pull anything out or prove anything.

However, in this case, with a 10 hour trip and all, I would be a little more official and ere on the side of caution.

Hope this helps.

Dan 

I'm a season ticket holder for the Ravens and I never have had any issue bringing my D supplies in with me. Granted they are only a glucometer and my insulin pump. Sometimes the guy will ask what it is and when I lift my shirt to expose my pasty belly and explain that it's connected to me and keeps me alive, they usually apologize and waive me through.

Also they allow outside food items as long as they are in a clear plastic bag. You could try putting whatever his snack foods are in a clear ziplock bag (one of the big ones). And tell the security guys that it's medicinal etc. If he has a medic alert ID or anything, maybe flash that and see if the person is at the gate will let it go.

In my experience, like C's, no one inforces those rules.

Generally, when I go somewhere you can't bring a bag, I just tell them I'm diabetic and they let me in. At the area here, sometimes they have a no bag policy for certain shows..to keep booze and drugs out, again I just tell them I have diabetes and I have to keep my bag on me. No questions, I get let through. Once I'm in the door, I've never been bothered by any of the staff.

I generally don't pack a lot of snacks even when I'm at a festival and will be walking. I'm not a fan of bringing a bag of food with me anywhere..it usually doesn't get eaten & I end up having to lunge the bag around all day, which blows! I have yet to have any trouble with getting food while at festivals, public events, shows, etc.

I usually bring my meter kit, my kit that holds needles & insulin, sugar packets (or you could give him glucose tabs) and a snack bar or two for treating lows.

I usually don't bring food for meals, I go to the concession like everyone else. There's usually a multiple medic tents and I would assume especially at the Stadium, there are staff walking around with walkie-talkies..worse case, I'd just tell them I have diabetes and need medical attention. I've done it before at shows and haven't had a problem.

If it seats 87,000 people, your son is likely not to be the only diabetic on insulin there that day. He also is not the first diabetic there ever, but you could be the first to actually check this out beforehand. ;) So likely you are getting the run around from the office, because most people are not as thorough as you and assume that they will not have problems, and probably don't. (Because security guards are regular people and for the most part will understand/not question as C noted.)

I would look into getting one of those Frio insulin carriers - that at least ditches the cooler. Really, when my son was on shots, we would go out for the whole day with just his meter case. I could fit 5-6 syringes, his insulin, the meter and a full bottle of strips in it, plus a pack or 2 of fruit snacks in it. (which in our experience work way faster than juice and are not as bulky.) Therefore, it just looks like a fat wallet in my bag. You can also look for either some of the pump belts/bands that can carry supplies- meter/strips/poker and a pocket for pump, which would fit syringes and insulin your case. All of that is then strapped around his waist under his shirt so he really wouldn't have the bag issue either (bottle of glucose tabs can go in pants pocket.) You can alternatively look for belts that runners/bikers use to carry food, etc. on long training days - they are all under a shirt so you aren't carrying the bag around of stuff.

You could also have him reduce his basal insulin by a little bit so he run's slightly higher that day to prevent lows. Good luck - don't worry - and HAVE FUN! it sounds like it will be a great day!

 

 

Honestly, I don't think you need to pack that much stuff for 8-hours.  Yes he'll need his insulin, but that doesn't need to be kept cold - he can put it in his pocket.  If insulin in pumps doesn't go bad due to the heat, neither will insulin in the vial.  He can also carry glucose tabs in his pocket.  He can get his food at the stands like everyone else.  If you try to pack too much stuff 'just in case', I think you may actually be setting him up for the 'scene' you are trying to avoid.

I've been to many many large-scale events (all concerts, not sports) and I've never had a problem bringing in my insulin (pump now, but used to bring in pens), meter or a juice box.  But at the same time, I try to be discreet about it and just keep the stuff in my purse.  I have  a doctor's letter and it's just a short handwritten note on a prescription paper, but I've never had to use it.  I keep it folded up in my wallet.

My suggestion is to just pack the basics and not say anything at the gate unless security asks.  If 0.12% of the population has type 1, and there are 87000 people at this event, you can assume your son is one of at least 100 other type 1's there that day.  I don't think you need to worry about your son being singled-out.  Have fun that day!

I had a lot less trouble flying than what they are telling you about a football game. No letters or anything. I just told them like it is and was happily waved through 3 airports twice each. Maybe I showed one guard some needles. They let me take juice boxes. Water bottles were a no no.

Just to add to what Terry said, and a little off topic, but I have flown a bunch since my diagnosis and I have never once been asked about needles, lancets, insulin, ect. Seriously not even once. I never even had to pull them out of my bag.

We took Sarah to a ballgame a couple of months ago (pre-pump), and they had similar rules. I brought just a small bag with the insulin pens, two juice boxes and a peanut butter sandwich in addition to her meter and such.

I just went up to the nearest security guard and asked to speak with the supervisor. She pulled us aside and I explained. She waved us through with a smile. :-)

[quote user="C"]if they continue to harrass you about it, i would take it to the athletic director and the president of the college and let them know EXACTLY how unsatisfied and disappointed and angry you are. taking it right to the top has always worked out well for me :D[/quote]

Having worked at a university, I can say that I often saw problems that were only taken care of once someone wrote an unhappy letter to the president.  I'm sure it depends on the school and the president, but I'd say it's often a pretty smart move.

 

Oh, and as a side note, I keep glucose tabs with me partly because I really don't think anyone would ever take them away because I'm not allowed food.  They're easier to justify as medically necessary than a granola bar, and will buy you plenty of time to get through that pretzel line.

I agree with C.  I went to Notre Dame (also 87K seat stadium).  I don't recall ever having to tell anyone about my health issues. I just brought my purse/bag through the gate, opened it so they could "check" for whatever they check for and went on my way...  I've also been to plenty of pro football and baseball games and never once had an issue.   I would suggest just carrying a note from the doctor just in case and some extra money so you can buy snacks/soda at the game if he needs it.  Also, if he needs to bring food in, have him carry something like granola bars in his pants pockets.  He's not going to be frisked so he should be able to get right though.

Good luck and enjoy the game!!!!!

It's funny when being prepared and planning ahead makes things MORE trouble!

I agree with some of the posters below that I bet you could come in there with, well, everything you want. A portable hot tub even. And once you show the syringes and explain that "it's all part of the big D" someone will nod emphatically and let you in!

BUT. You also hear horror stories (of people NOT getting in) so let me, and the rest of the diabetics who assume we'll get a free pass, say good job!

Pumps may be a bit easier, like Pat I'll just show m' belly and cyborg parts and they let me in. My meter fits in my pocket and I generally don't carry sugar on me.... (I've already learned my lesson though. I've waited in line hovering around 60 and the people behind me probably thought I was on drugs. I was flipping out!)

Have fun at the game:)

Last Spring we were on the UF campus for regional softball tourney,  my wife (much like you) takes the heat for getting through security because the snacks etc. are in her purse.  We didn't have an issue after explaining to the state troopers (gaurding each gate) that I'm a pwd, snacks were not a problem.  The only new suggestion I would offer is to search out the entrance for medical / persons with disabilities.  You would hopefully have better luck there.  Have a great time...Saturday football in the south rocks.

Jason

 

I agree with C! I am a Penn State grad and have attended a gazillion games, with absolutely no issues. Security has never even asked what my pump was- my guess is they were more concerned with the crowds of drunk people causing a scene than little old me. Also, after scoping out the concession stands closest to my seats, I stopped bringing every single one of my emergency supplies as it was apparent that with some glucose tablets and a few bucks in my pocket, there was a good chance I'd survive the game.

The only time I've ever carried a doctor's note was when I traveled internationally, and even then security personnel just shooed me along the line with everyone else. Hopefully you will have the same positive experiences! Have fun at the game!

So, I ended up calling the Athletic Office to ask about how to get around the stadium policies.  (The ticket office people were so ignorant and rude they made me cry--which I do too easily when I'm frustrated.)  They fedex'd (free) me an insulated little lunch box that they have just for this purpose.  It's yellow---really stands out from all the orange and blue come through the gates But they said the ticket takers would know that we were okay.  It worked just dandy.  They search our stuff just like everybody else, but everybody was nice.  Temps were in the mid-80s, but we were right in the blazing sun for 90% of the game, so I was happy to play it safe.  And for any NCAA football fans out there---IT WAS AN AWESOME GAME.  Auburn-LSU.  Wow.

..  

Nice job, Angie! I'm so glad to hear it all worked out well for you :D

Excellent, glad it worked out. Its great they gave you the pack, a free souvenir (unless you returned it). Just curious, after going to the game and seeing how tight security was, do you think you would have been able to make it in without the pack or not? How was your son's response to everything you had to go through? I know that was one of your concerns going into the the whole thing. 

What a game too! I do have to admit that I am more of fan of the tigers from LSU (I don't really have a college team, I just love to watch the game), but this is a great year for Auburn fans. 

What a great game. I saw it on TV. I was rooting for Auburn because I have friends that are LSU fans. I have gone to games and have sat in 90 to 98 degree heat with my insulin pump and have never had any problems but the insulated bag is a great idea. I would have never thought to call in advance.

Hello to the list  =)

 

 Typically  the security personnel are looking for two major things.  1.  Illegal Drugs and Alcohol; 2. Illegal Weapons.   After being separated, and physically searched occasionally.  The personnel told me to carry as little as possible into the area.  So I went to my local  army / navy / marine surplus store and picked up a canvas ammunition bag.  It is what I have been putting my personal stuff in, and carry around as a purse.  It works well, and I haven't had any problems since.

 However  don't worry about being pulled out of line, it is only a security precaution.

 

 Cheers from J  =)