Jets fans say they weren't allowed to bring Canadian flag, Jets garb into Las Vegas arena
One Jets fan says her Canadian flag was thrown in the garbage
A Winnipeg Jets fan says she was forced to discard a Canadian flag in a waste receptacle after T-Mobile Arena would not allow it inside the venue.
Lori Black said her Canadian flag wound up in the trash after security informed her she could not carry it into the arena on Friday, where the Jets played the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.
Black said she was given two choices: "Throw it out or take it back to my hotel," she said via Facebook Messenger.
"I said I would put it in my purse and promise not to take it out and wave it, but that wasn't good enough." she added.
T-Mobile Arena says it does not allow large flags into the building or signs that are not relevant to the events taking place within the venue.
The security policy posted on its website states "signs, flags, or banners" exceeding 11 by 17 feet are not allowed. Neither are signs attached to a pole or stick.
"Signs may not contain or display obscene or offensive language and/or pictures as determined by T-Mobile Arena management," the policy states.
"Management reserves the right to prohibit or remove a sign or banner at any time."
Flag can be returned
T-Mobile Arena responded via email on Saturday.
"We want every guest who comes to our events to have a great experience. We are deeply sorry that wasn't the case in this instance. Unfortunately, the items in question were not permitted in the arena per our written policy due to their size."
The statement said the incident was investigated, and T-Mobile Arena is "confident" the flag was not disposed of.
"In fact, we are in possession of it and would be happy to return it to the individual who it belongs to. We will also redouble our efforts to make sure fans are aware of arena policies."
Jets costumes dismantled
A similar thing happened to Winnipeggers Christophe Rodrigue, his wife Laura Thompson and two of their friends.
Arena staff told them they were not allowed to bring in the capes they were wearing or the poster, saying the poster was too big and flags were not allowed in the arena.
"We had made modifications to the flags including name bars with Jet King and Jet Queen on the back," Rodrigue explained via Twitter direct message.
"[It] also had a closure at the top so they could be used as capes. No intention to use as flags … it was pretty clear," he said, adding he doesn't know how large the poster was.
Staff told the group they should head to a nearby hotel and find a locker to store the items, but it was five minutes before puck drop and they didn't have time.
They went to a different entrance and put the capes in a backpack they found along the way. Rodrigue got the poster through security without any questions.
"The original security guy and supervisor saw my wife with a backpack and the capes and confiscated the capes," Rodrigue said.
"He explained she wasn't allowed outside the arena because she had cleared security and would not be allowed re-entry if she left. He threw the capes in the garbage."
Undeterred, Thompson approached a different supervisor who offered to store the items at guest services.
Thompson noticed arena staff carrying out garbage bags with the flags in one of them so she grabbed them and left them with guest services.
"We finally got to our seats after puck drop. We missed the pregame show and O Canada," Rodrigue said.
"Part-ways through the first period we noticed Golden Knights fans with similar costumes, capes etc. My wife went back to guest services and asked for her backpack. The guy behind the counter gave it back to her."
Rodrigue said the Golden Knights fans before, during and after the game were "great," but said the original security crew were unfriendly and wasted too much of their time.
Jets have similar policies
The FAQ page for Bell MTS Place, where Sunday's Game 5 will be played, says signs, flags and banners are allowed in the arena, however they "must not interfere with the view of other guests or be hung or fastened anywhere in Bell MTS Place."
The page goes on to say "banners and signs must not be commercial in nature or obscene. Bell MTS Place reserves the right to remove any banner or sign without exception."
With files from Karen Pauls