TOPEKA (KSNT) – Visitors may want to check the rulebook before attending a game at Hummer Sports Park. Topeka Public Schools (USD 501) recently announced changes to entry policies at the facility, and those changes are now in effect.

The policy update include:

  • No backpacks inside the stadium.
  • No entry for middle school students or younger without an adult.
  • Two entry points for high school students, at the west and southeast sides of the stadium.
  • Students from competing schools must show student ID’s upon entry, or pay the adult ticket fee.
  • Students from non-competing schools must pay the adult ticket fee.
  • No entry after ticket booths close.

A 501 spokesperson said the changes were implemented to enhance safety. Several visitors attending Highland Park football’s game at Hummer Thursday night supported the updates.

“I think we need that in these times of days,” Shelby Ross of Topeka said. “You know you have kids that are being threatened, parents, and all that kind of stuff. And we have to be safe.” 

The school district said its been actively trying to increase safety measure at events that draw large crowds. District athletic director and Topeka High Principal Dustin Dick worked with all three schools who use the park, Topeka West, Topeka High and Highland Park, to put these changes in place.

“It allows us to focus on what we came here for: the game,” Highland Park alumna Anneke Whye said. “And, not have to worry about any incidents or anything happening. It’s a family event, so we should come to support.” 

The emphasis on safety doesn’t just hit home for fans attending games.

“When it comes to people’s safety, kids, families, when it comes to these sporting events going on and trying to happen bringing people from out of town and safety can be ensured, I think that’s the most important thing,” Highland Park head boys’ basketball coach Michael Williams said.

According to 501, the district athletic director has been working with the Department of Homeland Security to review procedures and proper safety protocols at athletics events.

27 News asked the district if changes at Hummer Sports Park were prompted by a reported incident that occurred there during Topeka High’s football game last Friday. 501 said the policy changes were not made in response to anything specific, and no Topeka High students were involved in any altercation.