For the annual game of oldest college football rivalry west of the Alleghenies to occur on Nov. 14, several weeks of logistics and planning must happen for the Monon Bell game to go off without a hitch.
At the beginning of the academic year, all campus call-outs were held to reach out to groups and departments who have been affiliated with Monon Bell in the past. In addition, a small group meets to review requests, small details and other logistics.
Typically, the group consists of Stevie Baker-Watson, the Director of Athletics, Angie Nally, the Director of Public Safety and Rob Harper, the Director of Facilities. All persons are necessary to ensure the arrival and flow of 6,000 plus people on DePauw University’s campus goes smoothly and with minimal conflict.
The Monon Bell is not considered one of the oldest rivalries without reason, and keeping fan interaction to a minimum is key for the process of planning the much-anticipated game.
“Because the history of contentiousness between the Wabash and DePauw fans, we separate everything,” Baker-Watson said. “So there is a lot of logistics that go into how do we safely move this group of people from where they park to where they’re gonna be in a game and if there is enough trash cans and restrooms along the way.”
Tailgating wise, DePauw will be in the Blackstock Stadium’s parking lot whereas Wabash will be tailgating by the intramural fields. The distance from the field is not intentional; however, it keeps the possibility of potential vandalism associated with the game at a low risk.
As for the game itself, DePauw stays on the western side of Blackstock Stadium having access to the bathrooms and concessions within the stadium. The Wabash entrance is off of Madison Street on the eastern side. Wabash fans have their own concession stand and bathrooms.
Within Blackstock Stadium, crowd control fences are riddled throughout as well as the additional 650 seats.
Beginning Friday, Nov. 13 there will be restricted parking in the Olive Street lot, Peeler Lot, Blackstock Lot and a few of the duplex lots because space must be maximized when 6,000 plus guests are expected.
For game day, purchased parking at Blackstock opens a 9:00 a.m. before the gates to Blackstock stadium open at 11:30 a.m. Parking tickets are still available for purchase on brownpapertickets.com.
“We will have both law enforcement officers and security working the tailgate area, parking lots, directing traffic, in-game security. There will be plenty of people around," said Nally. "They are receiving support from the Putnam County Sheriff's department and NOLAN Security."
In addition, professional staff and RAs from Campus Living and Community Development will be offering support on both Friday and Saturday. Excise officers may also be present at the tailgate and game.
Nally also recommends to “lock stuff up” in residence halls as well as cars due to the amount of people on campus for the Monon Bell. Entrances to residence halls and campus building will be locked. Fraternities and sororities are advised to be secured as well.
This year the Monon Bell is of particular importance.
“Provided that they win on Saturday and Wabash wins on Saturday, the Monon Bell game will be for the conference championship, the Bell and for the NCAA playoff card,” said Baker-Watson.
Kickoff is at 1:07 PM and both Nally and Baker-Watson stress coming to the game as well as arriving early due to security at the ticket entrance and support for the football team.
“The Wabash fans are always in there by 20-25 minutes before the game starts. They always have support from all the bleachers, and it really can set the tone for the whole game," said Nally when speaking of DePauw fans arriving early, "it really is something that I’ve been on a personal crusade forever."
With most of the logistics for the Monon Bell planned out, all that is left is to decide where to put the Bell if DePauw does win.