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June 26, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Fans to be screened by handheld metal detectors at Sounders FC home games

Sounders FC has implemented a new security policy for its home games, as fans will be screened by handheld metal detectors upon entry starting July 3 against D.C. United.

The team is encouraging fans to show up earlier since the additional measure obviously take more time.

“Our first priority is to ensure a safe environment for Sounders FC fans at CenturyLink Field,” said Peter McLoughlin, Sounders FC president, in a news release. “This is the same program that was implemented at Seahawks games last season. The process is smooth and moves quickly.”

Here are some extra notes from the release:

  • Fans will be asked to remove all metal from their pockets and hold the items in their hands as the screening is conducted. This includes coins, keys and cell phones.
  • If fans have any concerns about the use of a metal detector due to medical reasons, the enhanced pat-down screening procedure can be substituted.
  • Fans are encouraged to give themselves enough time to pass through security.
  • CenturyLink Field gates open 90 minutes before kickoff and the 30-minute period leading up to kickoff is the busiest time frame at the security screening points.

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UPDATE: Here are some thoughts from GM Adrian Hanauer on the matter:

(What went into added these additional security measures?) “Look, our No. 1 focus is on keeping our fans safe when they come to our games. There’s a decent amount of craziness in the world these days, and our calculation is that 15 seconds or a minute or three minutes of inconvenience is worth the piece of mind for most of our fans and the organization to try to safeguard against anything crazy happening. … People don’t like change, and I don’t like taking my shoes off at the airport, but I’ve gotten over it and I suck it up and stand in line a little longer. It’s just kind of the way it is. So again, the decision wasn’t meant in any sort of disrespectful or non-trusting way. It was just our calculation as to what was right at this time in our organization.”

(Is the generation more a 9/11 echo or is it weapon-in-the-stands kind of echo?) “We didn’t sit around and say, ‘OK, I’m worried…’ I think it’s ‘yes’ to all of the above. Again, there are added security measures in a lot of things we do these days, unfortunately. It’s tragic that we’ve gotten to this place, but it’s kind of reality. And I think it’s a trend, so I don’t think it’s going the other way any time soon.”

(Did you feel the communication on this issue or how it was rolled out could have been done differently?) “Look, we could always do a better job of communicating and making decisions and including more people and including more people for a longer period of time. I think this was one that we were going to do, and so to some degree I guess the thought was it doesn’t make that much sense to drag this out and sugarcoat it and try to convince people that don’t think it’s a good idea that it’s a good idea, because we’re going to do it. Could we have done a better job? Probably. But again, the result would’ve been the same. That said, we do want to do as good a job of being inclusive and making sure that our fans are part of the process and feel good about the process. So if we screwed up in that arena, then hopefully we’ll fix it the next time.”

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