A new rule requiring a student ID or an MCard for admission and fewer open entrances to Michigan Stadium forced fans to endure longer lines and increased inspections at the gate at Saturday’s season opener against the University of Washington.

“We got in five minutes before kickoff so we waited in line for almost 45 minutes, which we’ve never done before,” Kinesiology sophomore Denny Busse said. “It’s always been show your ticket and walk in.”

Fans were also unable to bring bags or containers of any kind, including purses, backpacks and binocular cases.

LSA freshman Priya Bhasin experienced a wait of about 35 minutes. She complained about the prohibition of purses. “It’s a pain in the butt to hold everything like your cell phone and stuff,” she said.

Athletic Director Bill Martin said several representatives from the his department and the Department of Public Safety met yesterday morning to review the situation at the gate.

Martin said the bottleneck at the gate was caused by the reduced number of gates open at the game, though they had exactly the same number of turnstiles operating as last year. The number of gates was reduced to aid with package inspection, which increased due to the newly prohibited items.

“DPS estimate was that this year, one out of every two people had an item that had to be inspected,” Martin said. Last year, DPS estimated that every 1 out of 3 students had items requiring inspection.

More gates will be opened later this season and video cameras installed at all four corners of the stadium so that stadium officials can observe problems before game time and notify DPS, Martin said.

Martin added that the new measures were necessary because of a need to increase security after the Sept. 11 attacks. He also expressed concern over the planes with ad banners that flew above the stadium Saturday.

“The airspace is all controlled by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). City officials can’t do anything. We can’t do anything.” he said.

He said fans need to help the situation by getting to the games earlier, and he praised students for their cooperation.

“Eighty to ninety percent of the students got in without any problem whatsoever … they came with nothing but their ID and their ticket and they got right through,” he said.

First-year Law student Jeff Karek said he did not notice an unusually long wait, though he saw more police officers in the area and was asked to show his M-Card.

In some cases, students reported that their M-Cards were not checked and that they observed some students getting in with prohibited items.

“They didn’t actually check my M-Card, they just asked if I had it,” Busse said.

First-year Music student Lauren Poluha said, “They made me show them my ID, that was the only thing.”

Everyone using a student ticket must present a student ID to be admitted into the stadium, unless it has been validated beforehand, which they can do at several locations for $25.

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