Security delays at Alerus for Jason Aldean show angers concertgoers
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Jason Aldean fans were greeted with new security measures as they entered the Alerus Center for Thursday night's concert, causing delays and angering some concertgoers.The arena debuted stronger security measures for the show...
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Jason Aldean fans were greeted with new security measures as they entered the Alerus Center for Thursday night's concert, causing delays and angering some concertgoers.
The arena debuted stronger security measures for the show, which involved ticketholders being wanded by hand-held metal detector before entering the venue. There were also new bag restrictions that limited the size of bags allowed inside the facility.
Similar problems could crop up tonight as the country star performs at the Bismarck Event Center and Saturday when he has a concert at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. Both shows are at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening earlier than usual at 6 p.m. as those facilities are also implementing new security screening
To accommodate screening in Grand Forks, doors opened 90 minutes before the concert, which was 30 minutes earlier than usual.
Some fans entering the facility were met with long lines and a wait of 20 to 30 minutes to get into the facility, causing some to miss the first opening act, A Thousand Horses. Several concertgoers complained on social media about the wait, with some stating they wanted a refund.
Cheryl Swanson, executive director of the Alerus Center, said the lines moved slower than they had hoped, but the times entering the arena were comparable to other shows on Aldean's We Were Here Tour.
"I think it's a combination of educating the public about the process and getting everyone used to the new procedures," she said.
Metal detectors are becoming the industry standard in arenas and stadiums across the country. Though this was the first time the Alerus Center used metal detection, the NFL, NBA and NHL require ticketholders to pass through walk-through metal detectors in order to attend events, as do most major arenas in the U.S.
Most ticketholders attending Alerus Center events enter through Entrance 1, where's there is little room between the outer doors and where tickets are scanned. When the line was backed up, some had to wait for five to 10 minutes outside before moving inside.
"People waiting is nothing anybody within the facility management wants to see," Swanson said. "We hope as people get more used to the process, it'll go faster."
Swanson said the Alerus Center is looking into walk-through metal detectors, which would make the security process move faster. The arena, she said, did not have enough time to purchase walk-through metal detectors before Thursday night's show.
Many acts and promoters are requiring security measures, such as those used at the Alerus Center, in order for venues to host concerts.
Swanson said the arena did the best it could on short notice and hired an experienced professional security team to wand concertgoers as they entered.
"It was the first time, so it's going to be a little slow," Swanson said. "But this is becoming the new norm."