Considering the horrid shooting massacres the U.S. (and even Canada) has experienced over the years, it should not come as a surprise that NHL arenas are stepping up security.
The NHL is requiring walk-through metal detectors at all arena entrances this seasons, according to a report from the Edmonton Sun about Rexall Place getting the new equipment in its final season.
The most shocking news I read in all of this would have to be that in the same story about metal detectors coming to the Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa, the Senators will ban smoke breaks for fans. Guess they don’t have a contained outdoor area?
[OK that bit and a post since thankfully removed on the Edmonton Journal’s website that the metal detectors are unnecessary was also shocking.]
It’s always been weird to me that this hasn’t already happened. Security at the MCI Center/Verizon Center was always weird to me. What I thought was odd was if you showed up really early to the game, you could walk in and line up without being patted down and wouldn’t have to be wand. After a certain time, the security would have tables set up at the front door and check bags and wand fans.
Having attended Tampa Bay Lightning games the past few years in Amalie Arena, it felt odd going through the metal detectors, but never felt inconvenienced because of the long steps leading from the plaza up to an outdoor deck before you get inside. I also remember BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., having metal detectors, and you have plenty of entrances and space to spread out where lines aren’t an issue. And yes, a lack of attendance helped there.
Not all arenas have the best entrance layout. Boston really sticks out for me because you enter through the train station, cram through one timed entry, then get to another checkpoint, continue up to the next level and finally get to another level up to your seats…in the lower bowl.
This is the most sensible of policies and considering different security techniques, nobody should be whining, really. Well, you shouldn’t whine about the metal detectors, but definitely give the person in front of you grief for not being prepared. Just don’t bring loose change with you and if you can help it, don’t wear a belt. That’s two major time hang-ups.
Ladies, ditch the bag, too.
From what I could find online, teams that didn’t have metal detectors set up before and will this season include Columbus, Edmonton, Minnesota, Nashville, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Washington and Winnipeg. I’m sure there are many more.
I’m surprised that at least as of 2012, none of the arenas around New York City used metal detectors except for Barclays Center, where the Islanders will start playing.
Honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered around NYC because fans just assault each other with their fists on a nightly basis. If you’re lucky, you might get a beer shower, too.