EAST HARTFORD -- Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford had new metal detector security check points installed throughout the day Friday. The plan is to have them up and running by Saturday’s home game kicking off at noon.
For the first four home games of the seasons, fans were checked over using handheld, wand style metal detectors. That system was in place while the stadium’s managers were waiting for the walk through units to be shipped.
“They’re in such high demand that trying to get them here at both places is a little bit of a lengthier process than we would have liked, hence why mid-season we’re implementing them,” Chris Lawrence, the General Manager of the Pratt & Whitney Stadium and Hartford’s XL Center, said.
He added, “It’s not as simple as we need X numbers of units, we need the right units and we tested a couple of brands.”
The decision to order the units was made as large crowd venues and events have become the target of violence more frequently.
“It’s becoming more common place and we’re trying to keep up with staying ahead of the curve a little bit and make sure our patrons are as safe as they can be when they come to our events,” Lawrence said.
The stadium managers also said that this will be a new process for both security teams and the fans. They ask that fans be prepared to come early to the stadium to allow for the extra time it will take to get through the new security systems.
“Give yourself a few extra minutes to arrive a little bit earlier, especially during the beginning as we first start to use them,” Lawrence explained.
He added metal detectors were also ordered several months ago for the XL Center.
“We’re just waiting on them to be shipped and get assembled and go in from there. It’s been a process there’s a lot of things that lead up to that, getting approvals, getting the size you need, getting the fire marshal involved and all that good stuff,” Lawrence said.
The XL Center will host several events in the coming days including the Guns N’ Roses concert along with UConn and Wolfpack hockey games. Patrons attending those events will be checked by handheld metal detectors until the walk-through units arrive.
Gates open at 10:30 for Saturday’s UConn Football game, which kicks off at noon. The stadium managers said the same bag security policies still apply. For those details click here.