Fans, workers and staff all spend hours preparing for the WNIT Championship game

Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 4:47pm

All 12,222 seats at the Don Haskins Center were sold out for the WNIT Championship game between UTEP and Rutgers.

It’s no question of whether or not the fans were prepared for the game, as some camped out Friday night to ensure they got their first pick for seats.

But behind the scenes, a large number of personnel worked long hours to make sure everything ran smoothly.

“My crews have been working nonstop since Friday at 7 a.m. and literally haven’t stopped,” said Jorge Vazquez, UTEP executive director of special events.

Vazquez says every little detail requires oversight, and for an event this large there are more things to tend to.

About 100 security personnel were placed all throughout the stadium, an amount that is rarely seen for the Don Haskins Center.
Michelle Villescas with Contemporary Services Corporation said they were all prepared for various scenarios.

“It’s a lot of extra man hours. A lot of meetings with the university with all of the other entities here at the university to ensure it is a safe environment for everybody coming in,” Villescas said.

As for the vendors, food preparation meant an early morning, as well as a good judgment on just how much food is needed to fill the bellies of thousands of fans.

“We learned from the previous game on Wednesday that we weren’t prepared enough with 16 boxes,” said Louie Arellano with Southwest Kettle Corn.

“So we prepared for as much as possible, which we think we brought around 20 boxes of kettle corn which is like 300 large 400 small,” Arellano said.

As the hectic season comes to an end, all those who have been a part of the events said it’s been a journey.

“It’s a lot of work but we are happy to do it because we know that it has a big impact in the region and it’s something that we can be proud of because the community’s proud of it,” said Vazquez.   


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