Tech considering safety options for stadium

In the wake of two fans falling over railings at Bobby Dodd Stadium in the past two weeks, Georgia Tech officials have discussed additional safety measures such as signage or other communications, school spokesman Wayne Hogan said in an e-mail. Various options are still under consideration.

The two falls, one Saturday and the first Sept. 22, were the first that Tech officials could recall at the stadium. The rails involved in the falls either meet or exceed building code, according to Hogan.

The Georgia Tech student who fell over a railing and onto the ground Saturday had been drinking prior to the accident, according to an incident report from the Georgia Tech Police Department.

The student told police that he had had a lot to drink and very little to eat. In the first half of the Tech-Middle Tennessee State game, the student fell about 15 feet from the northwest stands onto the ground, close by emergency medical service personnel at the game.

“He said that he remembered walking with friends to the game, then after that, he was lying on the ground,” the incident report read.

The student was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where several tests and x-rays were taken before he was released with no apparent injury suffered.

The previous week, during the Tech-Miami game, a fan fell about 20 feet from a railing in the northeast stands onto a service concourse. That fan was also taken to Grady, receiving three stitches and a CT scan before being released. A witness later told police that the fan flipped over the railing after leaning against it as though he thought a wall was behind him.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

38 comments Add your comment


October 2nd, 2012
5:58 pm



October 2nd, 2012
6:08 pm

They meet the safety codes already, no point investing more money on railings. The idiots who manage to fall will continue to do so even with improved safety measures. Rather see the money go towards a new D coach and buying out the rest of CPJ’s contract.


October 2nd, 2012
7:03 pm

second to what nahhh said

Teddy Roosevelt

October 2nd, 2012
7:06 pm

Just let natural selection run its course.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
8:21 pm

The first 3 posts are disgusting. Not sure what Teddy’s even meant


October 2nd, 2012
8:40 pm

Super, I think Teddy meant “Social Darwinism”. I’ve seen parents let their kids get on the other side of the rail. I believe these latest incidents are drunk fans/students. Not teenagers but pre teens for what it’ worth…

Tech Student

October 2nd, 2012
8:45 pm

The railings are up to code if the students are standing in the aisles. However, all students stand on the bleachers themselves making the railing no longer tall enough. If Tech forced everyone off the bleachers, everything would be ok, but they don’t.


October 2nd, 2012
8:58 pm

Friedgen+Vad=:) :) :)


October 2nd, 2012
9:16 pm

Omg…Supersize’s comment about those comments are so disgusting!!!

What are we, 8 year old girls not able to deal with some raunchy comments? SMH


October 2nd, 2012
9:40 pm

It’s no coincidence that this happened at the MTSU game. It’s no wonder students get black out drunk after a week of failed tests and a crappy game to look forward to (especially when you lose). I was always way too drunk at these types of games.

Same Old

October 2nd, 2012
10:03 pm

Johnson will have to lose to ugag five times before they’ll make a change.
Look for the same crap next year.


October 2nd, 2012
10:07 pm

TechStudent…you sounds like a future Democrat. “If GT forced students to stand on the ground intead of the bleachers then they would not fall.”

Gimme a break. How about this….THEY SHOULD USE THEIR OWN BRAIN…don’t stand on the bleachers! The bleachers are meant for your butt….not your feet. Also…don’t get sloppy drunk before you come to the game so you know what you are doing…and if so certainly do not get near the rail. If you are a friend (obviously the toasted guy that fell did not have any real friends near by that were sober….then keep drunk friends from the rails!

Its amazing…I have been on the rails at GT games a ton of times…I’ve never come close to falling over…..and if I did fall over….I would not blame it on someone else!

[...] Tech considering safety options for stadium [...]

Same Old

October 2nd, 2012
10:15 pm

One more year of Johnson!


October 2nd, 2012
10:21 pm

Those poor kids. The only reason they’re still alive is Tech doesn’t have a full-sized stadium. But then, most Tech students are not full size either, are they, so I guess it evens out. Doesn’t it?


October 2nd, 2012
10:28 pm

Sadly, I heard two other tech fans fell over the railing last Saturday and it wasn’t even reported. Apparently, an MTSU receiver caught them and ran them in for touchdowns….

Paul in Nh

October 2nd, 2012
10:32 pm

There is nothing funny about people getting injured at a sports venue. Perhaps the injured are at fault but it be behooves GT to look into the matter. Google Bradford, Hillsborough, Ibrox or Heysel if you want to know what happens when crowd safety is not paramount.


October 2nd, 2012
10:33 pm

one thing that hasn’t been reported on yet – exactly how high are the railings where the two fans fell?

anyone measured them? take a picture of the railings next to a 6 foot tall person?

maybe i’m the only one that cares but i’d like to know actual details about the rail rather than talk about adding signage or whether or not a student was drinking at a football game.

also, commenters who are so cavalier about a fan getting hurt at boddy dodd stadium should find another team to follow – you’re not the type of “fan” i want to sit next to.


October 3rd, 2012
6:58 am

‘Signage” is being considered? Why do people use stupid words like “signage”? What is wrong with the word “signs”? You don’t sound any smarter or more sophisticated when you “post signage” (Did it fit in the mail box?) than when you “put up signs”. Besides drunks can’t read anyway and will continue to fall down.


October 3rd, 2012
7:13 am

I’m all for buying out Al Groh’s contract.


October 3rd, 2012
7:14 am

After watching the Bees meltdown the last two games , maybe these two kids were trying to commit suicide.

Forrest Gump

October 3rd, 2012
8:14 am

We Tech students are not very bright in fact when we drink whisky we are just stupid. That’s why I drink Dr. Pepper.

Forrest Gump

October 3rd, 2012
8:21 am

I found the solution to the Stadium problem (drunk students falling out of Bobby Dodd Stadium). It’s call the Bobby Dodd Stadium Seat Belt. Just buckle up for Stadium Safety.

Moobs Johnson

October 3rd, 2012
8:48 am

I wouldn’t go to a Tech game either unless I was sloppy drunk


October 3rd, 2012
8:51 am

Students drunk? No way.

Jacket Detective

October 3rd, 2012
9:12 am

Freigen coming back?
Braine should have kept O’Leary’s pay low to push him out the door sooner as opposed to later so he could promote the brains of the outfit.
No Freigen?
No wins vs Uga.
Dawg fans started celebrating as soon as Maryland grabbed him.
When we hired O’Leary after the BL disaster, did we even consider Ralph or did they rule him out because of his weight?
It’s what’s upstairs that counts.


October 3rd, 2012
9:14 am

Safety test implementation #1: give all ticket holders a “Common Sense Apptitude Test” prior to entering turnstiles, with a 99% achivement score being required for admittance.


October 3rd, 2012
10:04 am

Please don’t fix the railings, our firm could use the extra income! You think I can’t convince a group of “peers” on an Atlanta jury (people too dumb to figure out how to get out of jury duty) that they ought to award a bunch of $$$ to these poor victims when Tech clearly was aware of the problem? You think they will give a d@mn about the “building code” when some kid breaks his neck? I can say he would have been a highly-paid engineer for the next 40 years, and Tech would be on the hook for all of that plus living/medical expenses.


October 3rd, 2012
10:10 am

Ralph Friedgen is a disgusting pig. Hurts to look at. He ran the Maryland program into the ground after two good years.

How the hell would any young man believe in conditioning when your HC is a 400 tub of goo. Fridge even had a fundraising program tied to his weight loss. Don’t think he even lost 25 lbs.


October 3rd, 2012
11:14 am

Darwin’s Law of Natural Selection remains undefeated.


October 3rd, 2012
11:47 am

Agreed, if you are that drunk then you shouldn’t be tempting fate coming to the games. I’m sorry, but the dude got what he deserved. It’s just like drinking and driving, but fortunately he can’t hurt anyone else.


October 3rd, 2012
12:28 pm

Have you been to a GT game? They are too depressing to attend if you aren’t blackout. Plus how about we all be good fans and sit down in the bleachers for the game for “safety”, that’ll help motivate our team. Just add some taller railings

Stone Cold

October 3rd, 2012
12:37 pm

OMG, next thing you know they will not allow students to bring booze into the stadium. Hey, you gotta get lit up to watch our D play and appreciate it’s fine points. I know Al Groan is lit.


October 3rd, 2012
12:46 pm

Shame on the GT officials. Georgia Tech is an engineering school and they can’t design an effective railing system that will keep its fans from falling out of the stadium? It’s happened twice and it WILL happen again if everything remains as-is. Putting up signs will solve the problem, really?


October 3rd, 2012
2:22 pm

I saw the kid fall from where I was sitting. That entire section stands on the bleachers. If they just stood on the floor, this wouldn’t be an issue.


October 3rd, 2012
3:13 pm

Great…now I have plenty of witnesses saying the fans in that section stand of the bleachers, thus rendering the railings inadequate. This will be like taking candy from a baby (or to use a similar analogy, like scoring on Al Groh’s defense)


October 3rd, 2012
5:10 pm

My SOBER husband fell in September 2011, going down the steps in the Upper Deck East Stands. No one bothered to offer to help him, and actually walked past him, we think, assuming he was intoxicated. The kind people that sat next to us, came over to help and called an ambulance. The EMTs are another story, as they expected my husband, who was on the ground, to make his way down the steps to the stretcher – he couldn’t even get up, and his right leg was useless.
The doctors in the emergency room at Emory Midtown, (Crawford Long), gathered around his x-rays because it was described as “not one of those things you see everyday.”
His kneecap was disconnected and hanging loose. He had surgery the Wednesday following the event and it has taken a year to be about 85% recovered.
The steps in the original areas of the stadium, where there is no handrail, are dangerous. If we were not able to move to a lower section this year we would not be able to attend the games.
Factors contributing to falling are bifocals, the height of the steps, the narrow width of the steps (between bleachers), age (no idea how the oldest fans can navigate), and any orthopedic problem like bad knees. If there were a handrail to grab onto, the factors wouldn’t be factors. We feel certain the area we were in is grandfathered and historic and therefore does not have to comply with current standards. If that’s not the case, then it is ignorance of the problem, or the desire to fit in yet another couple of seats on each row so that there isn’t room to even have a handrail.
Either way, I hope everyone is extremely careful in the future.

[...] Tech considering safety options for stadium [...]