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Transportation available after football games

Prior to the anticipated USF-FSU football game Saturday, students said they were unaware of available programs that could make the difference between a safe ride home and a night at the police station.

But Raymond James Stadium offers two programs for post football games safety the Designated Driver and Safe Ride services. These services are part of Budweiser and Bud Lights Good Sport program, which aims to promote positive fan behavior and encourage responsibility at sporting events.

Cameron Shaner, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, and John Nabozny, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, said they did not know about the programs, yet plan to go to the football game this weekend where they plan on possibly drinking.

I know plenty of kids whove gotten DUIs over the years. I have never heard of this or how to ask, Shaner said.

The Safe Ride Program allows impaired USF students to receive a free cab ride within a 50-mile radius of the stadium whenever alcohol is sold at an event, according to the website.

The Bulls Blitz gives students the safe ride back to campus, but not many upperclassmen live on
campus, Shaner said. They should go to major apartments nearby, but this program sounds like a good idea for that.

Raymond James Stadium also offers a designated driver program at all events that serve alcohol. USF students 21 and older can pledge to be a designated driver and receive a free soft drink coupon redeemable at concession stands.

The designated driver program would make it easier for my friends to find a DD, Nabozny said. We would probably rotate each game on who would drive home.

For the first football game of the season against UT-Chattanooga, 438 attendees signed up for the Designated Driver program, according to Raymond James Stadium reports. The attendance for the game was 44,219. At the Rutgers game, 356 attendees signed up out of the 41,285 who attended. Throughout the 2011 football season, more than 400 fans signed up at each the FAMU, UTEP, Cincinnati and Miami games.

The programs are nice. I usually plan ahead, but it is reassuring if your DD ditches at the last minute, Nikki Wells, a graduate student majoring in medical sciences, said. Its good to know theres an option to get home safe.

These programs are offered on stadium property, and students can visit the Guest Services booth for more information on the Safe Ride service and to sign up for the Designated Driver program.

We encourage all fans to participate, Marissa Lyons, marketing and communications assistant for Tampa Sports Authority, said. The safety of our fans is our No. 1 priority.