Basketball and hockey fans going to events at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax the past two days had to pass through metal detectors as part of a test project at the downtown facility.
The security gates installed at entrances to the venue were in use at Tuesday night’s National Basketball League game between the Halifax Hurricanes and the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans and Wednesday night’s Halifax Mooseheads matchup against the Victoriaville Tigres.
Erin Esiyok-Prime, senior manager of marketing and communications at Events East, which runs the Scotiabank Centre, said on Wednesday that the gates were in a testing phase and would be used just for those two games but the long-term plan is to have them in permanent use by the end of the year.
“Really, what the purpose of that is just for us to better understand how they work, get our fans a little bit used to it, get our staff used to it, and really to understand what the impact is,” Esiyok-Prime said. “Right now, it’s just a pilot so it’s just for these two events.”
She said the gates may be used again if the assessment of how these two games went determines that more data is needed.
“But there’s nothing specific planned for next week that I’m aware of,” she said. “It’ll really just come down to what else do we need to know to be able to implement them effectively.”
Esiyok-Prime wanted to reassure patrons that there was no incident that led to the decision to go with the added security measures.
“It really is us being proactive and ensuring the safety of our guests,” she said. “As you know, the world is continuing to evolve and I think that security gates really are a consistent practice across venues around the world and so this is really us doing our due diligence to make sure that we have all the measures in place to ensure the safety of our guests.”
There had not yet been a lot of feedback from the public as of early Wednesday evening beyond some social media comments, she said. However, she does encourage people to share their thoughts.
“We’re really open to feedback so we want to hear from people about how it went,” she said. “We’ll be hearing feedback in the coming days, one-on-one with people who were at the games but also following up through email, phone calls, social media. We’re listening and we definitely want to hear from you.”