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Fans to get wanded as part of new NHL security measures at FNC

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.

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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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First Niagara Center | Sabres
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | [email protected]

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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