Security changes greet Alaska Airlines Center visitors
You're probably used to passing through metal detectors to board an Alaska Airlines flight -- but now you might also do so when entering the Anchorage arena which bears the company's name.
Crews first installed detectors at entrances to the main arena at the Alaska Airlines Center, near the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, about a month ago.
"We want people to come here, have a great time, and feel safe in this environment," said Chris Orheim, the center's general manager.
Plans for the added security measure had been in the works for about a year. The detectors are to be used for large gatherings such as concerts, UAA graduation ceremonies and the Alaska Fighting Championship -- events for which the list of what's off-limits has grown.
"No weapons of any sort, that includes, guns and knives of course, pepper spray, those items," Orheim said. "We prefer folks not bring in outside food or beverage because we don't know what's in those as well."
Tiana Blevins, a spectator at a recent AFC event, was surprised but not disturbed by the new security procedures.
"I feel embarrassed a little bit, because I didn't know I wasn't supposed to bring a big purse," Blevins said. "I think it's important to be safe because we have so many shootings here in Alaska -- it's important to make sure everyone coming in here has the right intentions, you know?"
Orheim echoed that view from the top.
"There's always more to do for safety -- we don't take anything for granted," Orheim said.
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