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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Transparency is key: UA steps up security during sporting events

Tonight’s basketball game against Fresno State is the beginning of a new era. Not for athletics, but for UA athletic venue security.

Arizona Athletics announced earlier this month it will introduce new entrance procedures at tonight’s game that include, but are not limited to, no longer allowing non-transparent bags in the venues and cutting down on the amount of entrances that are open in to the stadium.

Starting tonight, normal bags will no longer be permitted at the games. Instead, items brought to the game should be placed in a 12-by-12 by 6 inches deep clear plastic or vinyl bag. It is important to note that the rules on what you can bring to the games are not changing—just the container in which you bring those items.

Security will also be restricting the entrances open to the public. Suzy Mason, associate athletics director of event operations, said this is to help security consolidate its efforts on fewer areas — meaning faster entrance times and a safer venue for everyone in attendance.

People wearing coats will also be asked to unzip and open their coats, but they won’t be patted down.

Mason said these new security measures are something Arizona Athletics has been working on for some time. However, she added that the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris — during which UA teams were playing two separate games at home, with a football game the following da y— did serve as a catalyst that sped up the implementation of the security measures.

“We were getting some queries from fans like, ‘What are you doing [to protect me] when I come to a larger facility with a lot of people that could be a target? … What are you guys doing to make me feel safer?’” Mason said.

Tonight’s game, as well as the following game on Dec. 13, will be considered “soft launches” by the McKale Center security team, Mason said. Security personnel will be ready for fans who come unprepared, toting the standard baggage that comes with an average UA game day, and will politely inform them of the new policy.

“We’ve always had a no large bag policy; the challenge is that the people’s definition of that has been skewed over the years,” Mason said. “Going to the clear bag just makes this as easy as possible.”

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