By Mike Harrington
The Sabres have sent around an e-mail about new security measures for all events at First Niagara Center and here's my advice: Don't get to the door at 7 p.m. for a 7:05 start and expect to be in your seat.
The team announced today that beginning with Tuesday's game against Los Angeles all fans entering the arena will be subject to a handheld magnetometer (wand) screening upon entry.
The wanding has been used on a limited and random basis since last season as part of gradual security enhancements. It is now being expanded to include all fans to comply with league-wide policies for all teams in the NHL. Teams and leagues often don't say, but it's a clear reaction to the bombings at the Boston Marathon in April.
This can be a hit or miss proposition for fans at sports facilities. Ask Bills fans what they think of it. Ask Pittsburgh Pirates fans about the disaster that took place when wanding was instituted at PNC Park over the summer. Not enough gates, not enough wanders. Especially on a night with a huge walkup crowd.
The Sabres figure to have a much better setup because they have a huge entry pavilion and multiple gates in it. But if wanding goes slowly and long lines of people are snaked outside in the winter, that will be something else entirely. Bears watching.
5 p.m. update: The Sabres will wear camouflage jerseys during pregame warm-ups prior to Tuesday's game. The jerseys will then be put up for auction on the NHL.com auction site immediately following the game at 10 p.m. All proceeds from the auction, which runs through Nov. 20 at 9 p.m., will benefit the Sabres Foundation.
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