The Bearkats' game at Bowers Stadium Thursday night with Western Illinois will mark more than just the opening of the 2009 Sam Houston State football season.

Thursday also will be the first time the new elevator to the Bowers press box will be in use. To help fans, the Sam Houston athletic department has announced its policy for use of the elevator.

"The elevator was designed as the primary means to get working press and suite guests into the pressbox," SHSU associate athletic director for operations Greg Hinze said.  "Wheelchair and other special needs spectators will be accommodated on a case by case basis. However, the handicart will still be operational for those spectators who just need a little extra assistance into the stadium. The elevator will not be an option for these individuals. The elevator was not implemented as a way to get fully-able fans to the concourse level."

Elevator service for suite guests with tickets will begin two hours prior to game time. Guests are requested to refrain from holding or propping open the doors as this will cause the elevator to shut down. Media and other press box personnel with heavy equipment are requested to complete their use of the elevator by at least two hours before kickoff.

An elevator operator will be on duty to control the elevator at all times. All patrons of the elevator are asked  to comply with any and all direction given by the operator of the elevator.

"The new elevator is a great addition to our facility at Sam Houston State and we appreciate the cooperation of our patrons in helping the operation of the elevator go smoothly for all," Hinze said.

Also as a reminder, the following policies will once again be in place for the 2009 football season:

No umbrellas
No pets
No outside food or drink