Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - The Buffalo Sabres have announced enhanced security procedures for FIrst Niagara Center.
All fans entering the arena will be screened by handheld magnetometer wands as they arrive. They've been used on a limited basis as part of gradual and pre-planned efforts to enhance security.
"Nothing's really going to be different tonight," said Sabres' Vice President of Community Relations Mike Gilbert. "We've been wanding fans coming in from the beginning of the year, just not every fan was wanded. We did the best to wand as many as we could."
The team says it is enhancing the magnetometer screening to comply with NHL-wide securities policies mandated by the league.
Because of the new wanding procedures that will be in effect starting with Tuesday's game against Los Angeles, the Sabres are asking fans to arrive early to prevent delays. "We have added extra people tonight," Gilbert said. "Obviously Friday we're playing Toronto, and that'll be a full house as well, so it's a process we're going through and we're trying to get people through as quick as we can, but safety is the most important thing."
This isn't the first time the Sabres have asked fans to arrive early this year, Construction of the Harbor Center in front of the arena has caused traffic delays as well. Gilbert says that fans should try to "travel light," and be ready for the wands when they enter, by having phones and other metal objects in their hands.