Stung by fan criticism last season that their game-day security was too heavy-handed, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced this morning that security at new Investors Group Field will be largely "hands-off."
The Bombers announced that security wands similar to the devices used at airports will be the "primary screening device" when Investors Group Field unofficially opens later this month and manual body searches will only be conducted in exceptional circumstances.
"The football club takes the safety of our fans extremely seriously and has outlined policies to ensure everyone can enjoy an event or concert at our new facility," Blue Bombers president and CEO, Garth Buchko, said in a statement Wednesday.
"We believe we have taken a balanced approach to security that respects the privacy of fans while still allowing us the flexibility to conduct manual searches, should they be required, to guard against the kind of tragedy that can happen anywhere, anytime, as it did recently in Boston."
The club said fans will be screened by wands and their bags searched upon entry to the stadium, but only if something suspicious is found will they then be subject to secondary "manual searchers."
Also as part of the new security policy:
— Fans will be allowed to bring empty beverage containers up to one litre in size and fill them at water fountains around the stadium.
— Aside from single-serving snacks — chocolate bars or vegetables, for instance — no outside food or beverage will be allowed inside the new stadium. The exception will be for people with medical issues such as diabetes, who can receive a waiver to bring in their own food by contacting the club at least 24 hours before game time.
The complete Bombers security policy is up at their website at bluebombers.com.