WBS Pens Fans Warm Up To Arena’s New Metal Detectors

December 20, 2018
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WBS Pens Fans Warm Up To Arena’s New Metal Detectors

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Social media reaction to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza’s new security policies was swift and, in many cases, contentious.

But for the first few to walk through the arena’s metal detectors on Wednesday night, it didn’t pose a problem.

Fans of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, as well as concertgoers and attendees for all facility events must enter through the detectors effective immediately, arena officials announced earlier in the day, and a “clear bag” policy will take effect on Jan. 1.

The new procedures have been instituted with safety in mind, something Penguins fans seemed to appreciate.

Michael Stachnick, of Honesdale, said the metal detectors are long overdue. He has attended games at other venues, such as Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center and Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena, that already check fans on their way in.

“It’s not going to stop us (from coming to games),” said Stachnick, who attended Wednesday’s game with wife Sarah. “Probably a heads-up earlier in the year would have been an ideal way to do it, but we found out right away.”

“I’m glad they’re protecting us,” Sarah Stachnick added. “At first, (the bag policy) was going to be an inconvenience. But, it’s one thing less to carry now.”

Under the bag policy, items such as purses, fanny packs, diaper bags, camera bags and backpacks will not be allowed. Only clear bags that measure 12-by-12-by-6 inches or less, or one-gallon plastic freezer bags will be permitted.

Steve Poremba, Mohegan Sun Arena director of sales and marketing, said there were no issues with entry into Wednesday’s game. He added that rolling out the changes for a weeknight game, where attendance is usually lower, can allow the facility to perform an easier evaluation.

“Any time you’re looking at trial and error, it would be a complete mistake to do it for a Skynyrd concert or Trans-Siberian Orchestra,” Poremba said. “Our (Penguins) season ticket holders are obviously the most affected, so we want them to get used to it.”

Poremba said the arena has 18 metal detectors should they be needed for large events. He also had a sample of the clear bags that fans will be allowed to have in the new year.

Once fans and personnel are used to the new procedures, entrance into the arena may actually move more quickly. The Stachnicks, as well as John and Tara Hendershot of Hawley, both cited last Saturday’s hockey game as an example.


A larger than usual crowd was at the arena for the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss, which meant each person had to be scanned individually and each bag was checked by hand. The line stretched all the way around the perimeter of the facility.

The Hendershots, who have been coming to games for multiple seasons, said arena staff were telling fans to anticipate the changes over the weekend, so they weren’t caught off guard.

While they said it might be a minor inconvenience for families with very small children or another unique instance, the vast majority of fans shouldn’t stay away from games because of the new policies.

“We leave our cellphones; we don’t need them for the game,” John Hendershot said. “We see it all the time, that they have them out. Maybe it will force more people to pay attention to the game.”

More importantly, the new measures may be essential to stopping a major catastrophic event from occurring at the facility.

“There are always going to be people who are miserable,” Tara Hendershot said. “But people are going to be a lot more miserable if someone comes in here with something and hits a lot of people.”

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570-821-2089, @CVPiccotti

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