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Larger events, larger crowds at U of M

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The presence of nearby Investors Group Field makes for large crowds of non-residents for U of M students, but officials say measures have been taken to bump up security.

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The presence of nearby Investors Group Field makes for large crowds of non-residents for U of M students, but officials say measures have been taken to bump up security. Photo Store Photo Store

Located right next to the University of Manitoba, Investors Group Field will host over 15 large events this summer and fall including concerts, Blue Bombers home games, and U of M Bisons football games.

During larger events, the stadium can host up to 40,000 spectators. The parking plan allows people to park up to two hours before, leaving people two hours to spare.

That’s a lot of strangers close to campus.

The Hub Pub, the U of M campus restaurant run by the student union in the heart of U of M, encourages Bomber fans via Facebook to come and enjoy "cheap drinks and food before and after the game."

In a May interview with Jim Bell, vice-president and chief operating officer of the Bombers, about the stadium parking plan, he mentioned their bike valet.

 "We have a secure area for them to park their bike that will accommodate 400 bicycles, and then if that grows there’s more parking for bikes on the campus," said Bell.

U of M has over 500 bike stalls located throughout the campus that Bomber fans and concert-goers are encouraged to use.

It all makes for a big influx of non-students into U of M’s grounds. Currently, and through the summer, there are very few students living on campus. But the number of non-students who will be on or near the grounds this year may be something to consider for new students thinking about moving into residence. Measures have been taken to bump up security.

"There is security during games," said John Danakas, director of marketing and communications at U of M. "(There are) bicycle patrols, as well as patrols in vehicles. Plus there’s added security from the city for the Bombers."

Danakas said the Bombers’ schedule shouldn’t interfere with student life on-campus.
"It’s widely known that the Bombers stadium is here," said Danakas.

"The only games that conflict with weekdays or Fridays in the fall, that’s that time there are the least people on campus," he added. "In fact, probably the only people, among the only people on campus are the residence students." 

There are four residence buildings on campus which host approximately 1,200 students, around a quarter of the total population of U of M students.  All residence buildings have security key-activated entrances.

Danakas was not sure whether students seeking spots in residence were being told of the possibility of strangers on campus.

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