New York Giants and Jets Fans entering MetLife Stadium for sports games will now have to walk through metal detecting magnetometers when they arrive at the venue. Costing $US1.6 billion upon completion in 2010, Metlife Stadium is the most expensive sports ground ever built.
Officials at the 85,000-seat stadium have installed 92 magnetometers around 5 gates, with 3 guards managing each machine on game days. The magnetometers cost about $USD500,000 at 2013 prices, according to AAP. The detectors are similar to those used by the Transportation Security Association (TSA). Unlike at airports, fans will not have to remove their shoes or belts.
All MLB stadiums in the U.S. are adding metal detectors to improve fan security. Other venues, such as the Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., and Oakland Coliseum are in full use of the mags. Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass, will be next. The NY announcement follows news the San Francisco Giants will install biometric verification system at AT&T Park. Yankee Stadium has also added metal detectors at all its entrances.
According to reports, fans will be asked to remove cell phones and all large metal objects from their pockets before walking through the metal detectors. The detectors will support current bag checks. Fans who choose not to go through a walk-through metal detector will have the option of being manually checked with a hand-held detector.
The push to metal detection at major public events reflects the seriousness of potential terror threats to large, vulnerable public gatherings, as well as suggesting big sports venues are taking full ownership of their duty of care in the face of such threats.♦