JUCO Q&A: The Fans

With thousands of fans making their way through the turnstiles at Suplizio Field, the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series works hard to ensure a good fan experience.

Fans should know a few things before leaving the house and heading to the ballpark.

Suplizio Field is general admission, but seat saving is discouraged. The JUCO Committee encourages self-policing when it comes to saving seats and asks fans not to tape blankets to the bleachers to save seats.

If someone isn’t interested in eating concession food they can bring their own cooler. JUCO’s policy allows personal-size coolers only.

Glass containers or alcohol are not allowed in Suplizio Field.

When the renovations to Suplizio Field are completed, some new rules will come into play for next year’s JUCO. Blankets will not be allowed to be taped to the stands, and there will be no seat saving in the renovated stadium.

Some sections, including the new first-base stands and a portion of the third-base stands, will become reserved seating.

The exact sections for reserved seating and general admission seating have not been finalized, Tournament Chairman Jamie Hamilton said.

A point of pride during JUCO is keeping Suplizio Field at its best throughout the week-long tournament. Mike Vendegna, the park liaison, and Eddie Mort, the stadium supervisor, have staff at the field nearly 24 hours a day.

“We have staff from 6 a.m. to midnight that do regular maintenance,” Vendegna said. “We bring in a different group from 3 a.m.. to 5 a.m. to clean the facility.”

Vendenga said fans are encouraged to do their part by throwing away trash in bins and using recycling containers located around the complex.

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Q: Where can we buy tickets?
A: Advanced tickets can be purchased online at http://www.jucogj.org. Ticket outlets are Alpine Banks, Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, City Market Stores, B&H Sports, Albertsons, Safeway, and Wal-Mart.

Q: Are all the seats the same price? How do I get the good ones behind first base?
A: A tournament pass is $30 for adults, $25 for students (age 6-21) and senior citizens (55-older) in advance. Tournament passes go up $5 each if purchased at the gate. Single-game tickets, sold at the gate only, are $8; tickets for Games 18 and 19 (championship games) are $10 each. Ages 5 and younger are admitted free with a paid adult. There are no reserved seats and saving seats is not allowed, so if you want to sit in the shade, it’s recommended you arrive early.

Q: I don’t want to fight traffic. Is there a bus I can take?
A: The free JUCO shuttle starts each day at the Lincoln Park Barn and runs a designated route every 30 minutes that includes hotels along Horizon Drive. Buses start running one hour before the start of the first game, and the last shuttle is at 10 p.m., or one hour after the last game ends. Shuttle stop locations: 1. Lincoln Park Barn; 2. Mesa State College Parking Garage; 3. Super 8 Motel; 4. Ramada Inn; 5. Courtyard by Marriott; 6. Grand Vista Hotel; 7. Holiday Inn; 8. Clarion Inn; 9. Double Tree Hotel; 10. Quality Inn.

Q: What time does the stadium open?
A: 8 a.m. most days. Usually an hour before the game. — Eddie Mort, sports facilities supervisor.

Q: How many fans attend the game? Do the games ever sell out?
A: The record for attendance was set at last season’s tournament, with 137,920 fans during the 19-game tournament, topping the 2007 mark of 127,668. The stadium is usually full for night games, most notably Monday night’s fireworks game. Five games played in 2010 drew at least 10,000 fans. Monday night’s game between Hutchinson and San Jacinto drew a single-game record of 12,309.

Q: What’s the best pen to use for autographs?
A: B&H Sports sells baseballs and miniature bats during the tournament that are good for collecting autographs. Cory Carlson of B&H recommends a fine-point Sharpie for autographs.

Q: There is some guy behind me who keeps swearing, or a bunch of kids running up and down the stands. Who do I call to complain?
A: The security at JUCO is an effort between the Grand Junction Police Department and a private security firm. JUCO security liaison Greg Assenmacher, a commander with the police department, said if there is an incident involving criminal activity, fans should contact one of the several police officers around the stadium. For incidents such as too many seats being saved or an umbrella blocking someone’s sight line, the security personnel or JUCO staff behind home plate should be notified. When it comes to parking at the stadium, Assenmacher warned people to park only in designated areas. Last year, the GJPD issued 150 parking tickets. The parking crunch during the Monday night fireworks game will be somewhat alleviated, with the fireworks set up on the driving range at Lincoln Park Golf Course. That will all the overflow parking area behind the left-field bleachers to stay open for parking.

Q: Where is the first aid station?
A: The first aid station is located behind home plate near the commissioners box. Medical personnel and trainers are on site to attend to minor conditions such as cuts, sunburn, and dehydration. Fans should call 911 if they or people around the show symptoms related to a major medical problem.

Q: Do military get in free?
A: Past and current military get in free by showing their military ID on Monday, May 30.

Q: Why are all those kids trying to take the eliminated team players clothes and gloves?
A: Young fans trying to collect teams’ memorabilia has been a long-time tradition at JUCO. After a team is eliminated, fans will congest behind the team’s dugout and plead for hats, gloves, or whatever the player is willing to spare. Matt Hyde, a co-director of tournament play, said the one rule when asking for player’s gear is to stay off the field. It also pays to be polite.


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