Saddledome working to smooth out metal detector practice

Hands up, keys and cellphones out — many hockey fans are learning the routine as they head to Calgary Flames games.

Fans have to go through the detectors at Calgary Flames games

Calgary Flames fans have had to pass through metal detectors since Feb. 27 when the L.A. Kings were in town. (Devin Heroux/CBC)

Hands up, keys and cellphones out — many hockey fans are learning the routine as they head to Calgary Flames games. 

It's been just over a month since the Flames installed metal detectors.

Prohibited items

  • Backpacks, large bags or luggage (too big to fit under a seat with no obstructions).
  • Any and all weapon like devices.
  • Aerosol cans.
  • Mechanically-enhanced noise making devices.
  • Large chains, spiked jewelry.
  • Explosives, fireworks, sparklers, glow sticks, laser pens.
  • Food and beverages.   
  • Alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs.
  • Laptops.

Libby Raines, the vice-president of operations for the Saddledome, says since the new security measures were instituted Feb. 27 it has been a work in progress to speed up the lines. 

"We said a month ago that it was a work in progress and that we were going to be watching things and perhaps moving things around," said Raines.

For Wednesday night’s game against the L.A. Kings they actually moved the metal detectors inside the doors.

"On our west lobby side we've made a move again tonight, just to move them inside the lobby to try and take some of the congestion out of our west ticket lobby area."

Raines says it's been a mixed reaction to the metal detectors.

Flames fan John Bradford says it's hard to know what's going on until the moment you walk through the detectors. 

"You don't know until you get to the door. Now of course I'm a season ticket holder so I'm up in arms already," he said. 

Prior to installation earlier in the season wait times at more congested entrances was four minutes, a couple of weeks ago they did it with the detectors and Raines says it was only two minutes.

"This can be a very simple thing — if you just have those keys and cellphone over your head and leave other large metal objects behind, you probably won't need them here,” she said.

"This is going to be permanent practice."

So far they haven't found any serious weapons, just things like Swiss Army knives, says Raines.

With files from Devin Heroux/CBC

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