WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP — Something new will greet Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins fans at the first home game this weekend.
Thousands of hockey fans will finally get a chance to see the stars of the American Hockey League as the Baby Pens open the season at the Mohegan Sun Arena near Wilkes-Barre.
Before they can get seated, they’ll have to pass through metal detectors at all the gates. In a letter to season ticket holders posted on the Penguins website, arena management announced all fans will be screened by a metal detector wand. Those who can’t get wand will be subject to pat downs.
Hockey fans said they don’t mind the new security feature.
Cristina Praefke is not only a self proclaimed huge hockey fan, she’s also a waitress at Lucky’s Sports Bar, a hot spot gathering for Penguins fans, just down the road from the arena.
“Honestly I don`t think it`s a big deal because I don`t think people should be bringing anything questionable in anyway, and they wand you in schools so anything for the safety of the games to make the fans have a better experience and the fans feel safe, players feel safe I`m all for it,” said Praefka.
“I think it`s a good thing, actually it`s a great thing. Schools have them now, why wouldn’t you have them at sporting events? Safety really,” said Randy Kashnicki of Nanticoke.
According to arena management, doors will open 90 minutes before the start time of games in October. That time could change as they get further along into the season.
“I think they are trying to do everything they can to accommodate people that are coming in, opening the doors early and making ample time to get the fans in and settled. I think it shouldn’t be a problem,” added Praefka.
Officials with Mohegan Sun Arena turned down our request for an interview about the new metal detectors.
The puck drops for the Penguins’ first home game at 7:05 Saturday night.