Fans heading to Rogers Arena to watch the Vancouver Canucks will now have to pass through an airport-style metal detector and have their bags searched prior to entering the stadium.
The new screening process is part of the National Hockey League’s efforts to standardize security measures at all NHL arenas.
The team said in a statement:
“Fans will now be asked to remove all metal objects from their pockets before passing through the metal detectors, which are similar to those used at airports, only faster without the need to screen luggage. Only in unique circumstances will a pat-down or hand-held wands be used, allowing fans to enter the arena as quickly as possible. All bags will also be subject to inspection, as per previous fan safety protocols.”
Other North American sports leagues already use metal detectors. Hand-held detectors and walk-through detectors are common at National Football League stadiums and Major League ballparks.
“It’s no different at Lions games,” said security expert Leo Knight. “Most people are getting magnetometered on the way in and now all bags are getting searched. It’s the new normal.”
Some wonder if there may be more car break-ins near the arena as fans stash belongings in their vehicles in order to pass through security more quickly, but police have not expressed concern.
Knight says ticketholders will adapt:
“It’ll be fine once people get used to it. The big thing, of course, is not bringing anything extraneous to the arena.”
Still, the team advises fans to arrive at Rogers Arena 15 to 20 minutes early if they want to be in their seats in time for the opening face-off.
-With files from John Daly