Edmonton's Rexall Place installing security gates with metal detectors

 

 
 
 
 
Security guard John Akle waves a metal detector over KaSandra Knox at Rexall Place on Sept. 9, 2015. Rexall Place is now equipped with walk-through metal detectors, which will be in operation for all NHL games for the 2015-16 season.
 

Security guard John Akle waves a metal detector over KaSandra Knox at Rexall Place on Sept. 9, 2015. Rexall Place is now equipped with walk-through metal detectors, which will be in operation for all NHL games for the 2015-16 season.

Photograph by: Larry Wong, Edmonton Journal

Oilers fans are being urged to leave the selfie sticks and pocket knives at home because they will have to pass through airport-style metal detectors at Rexall Place starting this month.

Some of the entrances will be equipped with the walk-through metal detectors on Sept. 16 for the Oilers Rookies game, and in full operation when the season starts Oct. 15.

Stuart Ballantyne, Oilers Entertainment Group senior vice-president operations, and Ian Sanderson, director of security, parking and safety for Northlands, answered a few questions about the new security feature. Their answers have been edited and condensed. Other answers are compiled from news releases and the press conference.

Q: Why were the metal detectors installed?

Ballantyne: This is an NHL mandate that we as a member club wanted to adhere to so we’ve made this installation a season earlier than maybe we would have wanted to. Some brought them in last year, but all NHL cities now have metal detectors installed for this season.

Q: What’s the procedure?

A: Once fans arrive at the metal detectors, personal belongings that may trigger the alarm should be removed and placed on the side table.

Q: What about bags?

A: Currently, all bags are checked and this will remain the case.

Q: What if the detector beeps?

A: Should the alarm sound, the fan will be directed to secondary screening which could include hand-held metal detectors and pat-downs.

Q: What can you tell fans concerned about long lines?

Ballantyne:  The key thing is to arrive earlier and understand that the less you have in your pockets, the easier it’s going to go through. It does move through fairly quickly, but if there’s a secondary search, that will slow the line up.

Q: What wait times are anticipated?

Ballantyne: We’ve got a standard we want to adhere to and we’re going to monitor to that but the reality is, we want to be under a couple of minutes as people come in.

Q: How will you keep lines moving?

Sanderson: We (will) open up more doors to reduce the lines; we’re going to have people steering people toward the shortest lines. We don’t want them standing out in the cold. The key to the whole thing is for fans coming to the game to leave the stuff in the car.

Q: Will the doors to Oilers games open earlier?

Sanderson: Oilers games are always open an hour-and-a-half before puck drop. We actually get most of our ingress in the last 15 minutes before puck drop and the 20 minutes past puck drop. If fans just come a little bit earlier, we can alleviate any lines that may occur with that last-minute rush.

Q: The detectors are in place for NHL games. What about WHL games and concerts at Rexall Place?

Sanderson: We would still have the handheld detectors and still do the mandatory bag searches for everyone coming in the building, and random pat-downs.

Q: What happens in 2016 when the Oilers move to Rogers Place?

Ballantyne: At Rogers Place, these metal detectors will be installed and used at every single event at Rogers Place. We’re becoming a landlord so we wanted to make sure it was just easier for us on our processes and our operations.

Q: What’s not allowed?

A: Prohibited weapons include but aren’t limited to weapons, including guns and knives; self-defence sprays; outside food and beverages; non-service animals; professional cameras; selfie sticks and telescopic devices; any other item deemed inappropriate or dangerous.

Q: Are the detectors as sensitive as at the airport?

Ballantyne: It’s not the same standard that you would get going into a prison or going through an airport.

Q: What about people with wheelchairs or walkers?

A: Each entrance will have barrier-free access for people with mobility problems and officials say they have been certified safe for medical devices such as pacemakers. People with medical issues who can’t go through the detectors will be screened with hand-held wands.

Q: How many metal detectors?

Sanderson: In the building, we have 34 but you have to remember that they’re for everybody entering the building. Staff, team people, contract staff, anybody coming in the building, so the non-public entrances have them as well.

Q: Even the players must be screened?

Sanderson: The league mandate is anyone entering an NHL facility must go through a walk-through metal detector.

bmah@edmontonjournal.com

Twitter.com/mahspace

 
 
 
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Security guard John Akle waves a metal detector over KaSandra Knox at Rexall Place on Sept. 9, 2015. Rexall Place is now equipped with walk-through metal detectors, which will be in operation for all NHL games for the 2015-16 season.
 

Security guard John Akle waves a metal detector over KaSandra Knox at Rexall Place on Sept. 9, 2015. Rexall Place is now equipped with walk-through metal detectors, which will be in operation for all NHL games for the 2015-16 season.

Photograph by: Larry Wong, Edmonton Journal

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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