Budweiser Gardens has joined the ranks of arenas around the world beefing up their security.
Officials at the popular downtown London arena say metal detectors have been installed at every fan entrance. London Knights fans attending their first preseason game Friday will be among the first to experience the new security measures.
The London Knights, the main tenant at Budweiser Gardens, has already sent a note to season ticket holders about the metal detectors.
Bud Gardens GM, Brian Ohl, says they will try to keep the disruption to a minimum.
“It’s pretty simple. Just take your keys, your phone, sunglasses and anything metal, put them in the basket and walk on through. It’s really that simple, it’s a lot easier than going to an airport,” said Ohl.
Fans won’t have to take off their belts, shoes, jackets or watches when they walk through the metal detector.
The beefed-up security isn’t a result of any one incident, Ohl said the new security measures are part of the realities of 2017.
Budweiser Gardens is owned by the city of London but managed by Global Spectrum Facility Management.
Ohl says if fans arrive at the rink a little earlier than usual, they shouldn’t notice any difference.
“It’s going to be a learning curve for everybody, once you come to a game or two you’ll realize it’s pretty simple. My suggestion is everyone come a little bit earlier than usual and make sure that you get in with plenty of time to see the game,” said Ohl.
Signs have been distributed throughout the arena in an effort to help fans with the transition.
While metal detectors are common-place at NHL arenas, it’s unclear how many other medium-sized facilities that host OHL teams will have similar security measures in place for the upcoming season.