SPOKANE, Wash. - The puck drops on the Spokane Chief's home opener on Saturday and their fans are going to notice some security changes at the Spokane Arena.
The arena's newly installed metal detectors are very similar to the magnetometers you see at the court house or the airport. They are the walkthrough variety that today picked up on a pocket knife, but did not alert on a belt buckle.
Arena managers want to keep the public and their employees safe, but the real pressure to install the metal detectors came from performers.
Everyone from James Taylor to the Disney On Ice crew know it's a violent world out there, and they don't want to be targets up there on the stage.
The arena staff says as they get used to using the new equipment, fans need to show up an hour early just to make sure guests can get to their seats and don't miss a minute of the action.
"We're not trying to inconvenience anybody, but as we work through this, I mean we have a 22 year history of operating without metal detectors," says Spokane Arena General Manager Matt Gibson. "Now we are here in the 21st century and we're using them. It's gonna take a little bit, but we're going to be dialed in a lot more than some people might expect, and certainly in the next couple months we'll get a lot better at it."
So there are multiple magnetometers at each entrance of the arena.
At this point, plans call for even the performers to pass through metal detectors before they can get backstage.
Your concealed weapons permit will not allow bypass of the metal detector, and even folding knives are no longer permitted.