Have you ever thought to yourself as you walked into an arena, "Boy, you could smuggle just about anything in here if you really wanted to"?
To an extent, I'm sure that thought has crossed all of our minds at some point.
In the case of Bridgestone Arena and it's seemingly lax security measures at times, that will all change here in the very near future -- an extremely positive change at that.
Confirmed via a Nashville Predators spokesperson, we here at On the Forecheck have learned that full-sized metal detectors will be installed at every entrance to Bridgestone Arena beginning next week.
Not only will the addition of these metal detectors help to streamline any type of lengthy wait times that fans have experienced when entering the arena, albeit nowhere near the mind-numbing wait times that fans have had in recent struggles across the river at
Adelphia Coliseum The Coliseum LP Field Nissan Stadium, however it will also add in a level of comfort to fans entering the premises.
With the possibility of guns being allowed on the grounds at both venues in the near future, something that seemed entirely unrealistic until a recent report from the folks at 1100 Broadway, any additional layer of security that the organization -- more so, arena management -- bequeaths to those that enter can only be viewed in a positive light.
These new detectors will be installed beginning next week, starting August 17th, and will be added to all five of the entrances at Bridgestone Arena. After installation is complete, all the devices will be tested during a handful of upcoming events so that arena management can determine the best way to proceed in regards to ensuring negative experiences are kept to a minimum.
In addition, all detectors will allow guests to pass through with certain types of metal (coins, wallets, belts, watches and jewelry) without having to be removed from where the patrons have them stored.
Cell phones and cameras? Not so much. It would serve you well to present those as you are entering, as they will set off the metal detectors and you'll most likely be subject to additional searching afterwards.
Even with the addition of this level of security to every entrance of the arena, there still remains one very important question: will there be any change as to how bags are checked?
Nissan Stadium, along with every NFL venue, uses a "stadium bag policy" to where all guests must use clear bags no larger than 12" by 6" by 12" -- with no bending of said policy. While it helps entry staff do a much better visual inspection of bags brought in by guests, it hasn't done anything to increase wait times to enter the stadium.
In regards to Bridgestone Arena, the spokesperson noted that the current bag check procedures will not change in the upcoming future. No clear bags will be required. No large bags or backpacks will be allowed, except for the obvious diaper bag for infants and toddlers.
Which leads me to circle back to the original question proposed: doesn't it seem entirely possible, with the level of security that is entailed in bag checking, that you presumably could bring anything you could think of into the arena?
I know from first-hand experience it's extremely easy to sneak outside food and beverages into the arena because not a single one of front door staff checking bags ever does much more than shine a flashlight at the top level of said bag.
Who's to say that there isn't a deadly weapon at the bottom of the bag?
Sure, you may get wanded as you come onto the property grounds, but that bag is never really given a thorough search.
Ever thought about that? Of course you have.
In reality, you can hardly blame the entry staff for that. They're tasked with checking 17,000+ people sometimes three, four or even five nights a week. There's no telling how many bags come through those doors. No telling how much contraband has come through and no one has, or will for that matter, ever noticed.
Adding full-blown metal detectors isn't going to do a thing for checking bags, but it is going to remove the tedious wand-scanning that guests have been used to. It will also provide a near 100 percent decrease of any chance of a carried weapon being brought into the arena -- and that's obviously great news, especially with the recent movie theater scare in Antioch.
Hockey season begins in nearly eight weeks, so arena management should have ample time to make any type of adjustments to the new security measures before the full swing of an NHL season begins.
Artists like Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and the handful of preseason Nashville Predators games should provide an excellent warm-up period to test out these new metal detectors.
Today's society has been aiming for better security at the type of events that most of us consider luxuries. Bridgestone Arena is doing just about everything they can to give guests peace of mind when they enjoy whatever event they've doled out their hard-earned cash for.