Fresno State officials say all aspects of Graham event unfolded smoothly

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Fresno State officials say all aspects of Graham event unfolded smoothly

California State University, Fresno officials involved with assisting the Central Valley Billy Graham Crusade reported smooth operations with only minor difficulties during the four-day event at Bulldog Stadium.

Campus police, traffic and parking officers, grounds and stadium operations staff and student trainers offering medical assistance were involved in helping at the Crusade.

An estimated 201,000 people attended five programs, including a Saturday night youth concert that drew 62,000 participants to the stadium and Beiden Field.

All of the Crusade-related equipment and temporary trailers should be removed by midnight today (Monday), said Tom Kane, events/projects coordinator and athletic facilities manager. Kane’s staff already is preparing the field for men’s and women’s soccer games on Thursday and Bulldog football Friday night.

University Police Chief Lynn Button said Crusade crowds were among the most cooperative groups he has ever worked with. There were four minor incidents but no arrests.

University and Fresno police and responded to a call Saturday night of a suspicious container found underneath the scoreboard. Police checked and found it was a photographer’s equipment bag.

Traffic control, similar to what is used for home football games, was successful, he said. It took 45 minutes to one hour to clear traffic from the area after the event.

Button said the extensive advance planning with various law enforcement agencies helped reduce problems. Officers endeavored to improve the check-in process each night to speed up admission to the stadium. Each night’s process was evaluated and refined for the next night.

“I received a lot of positive comments about the high visibility of the police, which made people confident about security in the stadium,” said Button.

“Overall, it was a very, very good experience. Fresno and the university should be proud of hosting this event,” he said.