HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi will be hosting the NCAA Regional Baseball Tournament, and with that show in town, security measures will be increased.
The first game is slated to start Friday at 1 p.m. between the Golden Eagles and University of Illinois at Chicago.
Southern Mississippi Capt. Det. Rusty Keyes said people should be aware of the increased traffic, and enhanced security measures before heading to the ballpark.
"We are expecting a much larger crowd than normal, and parking and traffic will be a bit of an issue," said Keyes. "The athletic department has designated areas for paid parking, so expect some delays when trying to get in to parking lots."
Keyes said there are open lots around campus, and some will have cars in them, due to some ongoing summer camps on campus.
"But be mindful, we are having some camps on campus as well, so parking is here, but just a lot enough time to get here to find one where you want to go," said Keyes.
Motorist in the Hub City can take alternate routes to avoid the areas that are expecting the increased traffic.
"We are asking you to use other avenues that's not around campus, Hardy Street for example, maybe 7th street," said Keyes. "But 4th Street, 38th Avenue, Service Road will be congested especially pre-game and post-game."
Keyes said Southern Miss Police Department will be getting assistance from Forrest County Emergency Management Agency, Mississippi Highway Patrol, MDOT, Forrest General Police Department as well as Hattiesburg Police.
He added that additional security matters will be in place, even at the gates.
"When you get here, expect your bag to be checked, we will be searching bags," said Keyes. "So expect delays getting in the gate, we have some tents set up so in case of weather, you will out of the weather, but for security reasons we will be searching bags."
Keyes said signs will be posted around the park informing guests of what items aren't allowed.
"We'll have signs that say what you can bring in, of what is not allowed, some of those items is umbrellas, large signs, just be mindful of that, and of course no weapons of any kind and no alcohol," said Keyes. "Another thing is no artificial noise makers, of course a cow bell is one of those, so those are prohibited inside the stadium."
Forrest County EMA officials will also be at the stadium monitoring the weather, and the stadium will have alerts posted in the event of anything severe.
"We have locations that we will alter people of where to go in the event of anything severe, but hopefully it will just be rain and we can get the games in," said Keyes.
The public is encouraged to be vigilant and alert authorities to anything suspicious.
"If you see something, that in your opinion is suspicious, please call us, let us know that so we can check it out, you're not bothering us, you're not getting in our way we need to be mindful of those things," said Keyes. "We need to be able to look at it and see what it is, because we want you to have a safe experience just like we want everyone else to."
- No pass-outs/reentry for parking or stadium
Prohibited items include:
- Artificial noisemakers
- Outside food/drink
- Bottles, cans and thermoses
- Ice chests or bags
- Flag poles
- Any item deemed hazardous by game management staff