ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Pegula Sports and Entertainment is assuming management duties at the Blue Cross Arena this year and one of their first courses of action is a new security policy.
“You need to be prepared," said Rob Minter, Blue Cross Arena’s vice president of business operations. "When folks are spending their hard-earned money to be entertained and get away from the everyday stress of whatever’s going on, we don’t need them being stressed here.”
Under the new changes, the BCA will become a smoke-free facility. There will no longer be designated smoking areas on arena property and fans will not be permitted to smoke on the grounds during any games or events. This new measure also includes the use of electronic tobacco products.
But not everyone is a fan.
“If you have a lot of the customers that are smokers, that’s their enjoyment," said Rochester resident Warren Vick. "That’s their choice.”
Also new this season, all patrons will be subject to hand-held metal detector screenings upon entering the venue.
“To know that you’re going to be safe and that no one had a knife on them or a gun hidden under their belt or something like that, I think they’re finally starting to step up,” said Gates resident Kalyca Jansen.
There will also be a restriction on bags entering the building. Only personal bags, such as medical, diaper bags or purses will be permitted. Those bags should be soft-sided and fit under a seat without blocking an aisle. They, too, will be inspected upon entry.
Backpacks, duffel bags, coolers and briefcases are prohibited.
PSE officials say the new policies and amenities are designed to enhance the overall safety and fan experience.
“From a fan experience standpoint, the security protocols, the video board and the ribbon boards they’ll see, the build-out of the lobby here and other things coming down the pike, it’s phenomenal," Minter said. "There couldn’t be a better time to come down to the arena.”
The security measures will take effect immediately for a bull riding event this weekend, and the arena hopes to have the scoreboard ready by the first weekend of October for the Amerks home opener.