Tickets in hand. Check.
APS team gear. Check.
Cash for refreshments. Check.
Game management plan. We got this!
To ensure that APS families, student athletes, employees and communities surrounding Grady and Lakewood stadiums are safe and fans are able to enjoy a better game day experience, Atlanta Public Schools has launched the “United We Play” campaign – a game management plan for district sporting events at both venues.
The campaign focuses on enhanced standards of behavior in and around APS sporting venues, including crowd management, ticketing, traffic and parking, and emergency planning. For the remainder of the season, the district wants all APS football fans to “huddle up and have a ball,” and wear their favorite school team gear (t-shirt, hat, button, etc.), all while enjoying games in a safe and secure atmosphere.
“I want all of our communities and school clusters to have the confidence that we are very serious about our security measures so everyone can enjoy themselves,” said APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen.
In advance of games this weekend, the district has updated safety and security planning with the Atlanta Police Department to improve the fan experience at both stadiums. These include:
- Creating a more visible police presence both inside and outside Grady and Lakewood stadiums, including assigning more marked vehicles outside the stadiums
- Managing ticketing procedures to ensure quicker service and shorter lines
- Assigning perimeter security officers around the stadiums to focus on pedestrians walking to and from the games through neighborhoods
- Improving security mobility with use of additional vehicles for quicker responses
For the long-term, the district is allowing more staffing flexibility on game nights and providing training for stadium employees in the form of drills and exercises. APS will also reach out to partners who have expertise in safety and security planning to review existing plans and communications for all major sporting events. “We need a district-wide conversation about how we establish norms in and around our extra-curricular activities, including a fan-civility policy and expanding our Social-Emotional Learning programming beyond the classroom and into our play spaces,” said Carstarphen.
At the end of the day, the “United We Play” campaign embodies the spirit of the game where athletes, fans and families in every school community are bonded together in an environment where safety and security are a top priority. To see a list of upcoming APS football games, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us/athletics