More on the new security methods

So if you're like me you got an e-mail from the club yesterday titled "New Enhanced Security Screening Procedures In Place At Providence Park". This in itself wasn't news - we've known about this for some time. But, to me, the curious part was the club's recommendation that "...we encourage all fans to arrive extra early for upcoming matches to minimize wait times and potential delays entering the stadium."

My immediate thought was that, surely, this must mean that the gates will open sooner in order to clear the inevitable jams that will occur as people forget pocket change, get dinged for their artificial knees, or just get redlighted by the made-by-the-lowest-bidder metal detectors.

So...I e-mailed my ticket services person:

"So…given that everyone will now get to enjoy TSA-style Security Theatre to get into the match, the gates will be opening 30 to 60 minutes earlier before kickoff to ensure everyone is seated by match time, right? I’m confident that the Front Office wouldn’t expect to shoehorn everyone through the security gates in the same amount of time it took before this. That would be silly, wouldn’t it?"

The answer; yes, the Front Office DOES expect everyone to get inside in the now-standard 90 minutes WITH the new screening procedures.

That seemed 1) odd as to why the club would think that and 2) a bad idea enough to give me, the old Army sergeant who used to pull security at the FOB gate, the screaming fantods. Creating a ginormous pileup around the gates 90 minutes before kickoff seemed like the definition of "high-value target".

I asked about this, and the ticket guy made the following clarification:

"We have been and will continue to monitor the traffic dynamics. Very few fans arrive at the "earliest" possible time of gates opening, so adding more time at the front end typically does little to offset this. 60 minutes is ample time to move everyone in, but hope that the arrivals are more spread out through that 60 minutes with our communication of the new policies. We have added Gate 3 for tonight to help alleviate any lines and will certainly monitor and assess how things work and make changes as needed."

OK...THAT kinda made sense. Except that wasn't what the FO asked for; they asked for people to come EARLY.

So I commented:

"OK. Thing is...(t)he implication (of telling everyone to COME EARLY!!!) is that the gates are going to be like a Fellini movie, and the logical response will be for a bunch of people to show up early and produce a big pileup outside the gates two hours before the match OR complete indifference and a big pileup right before kickoff, as I understand happened in Columbus for the Cup Final where a bunch of fans missed Valeri's goal because they were still trapped in Security Limbo..."

Supposedly the FO is on this, but...I won’t pretend that I’m thrilled about the idea; my replacement hip ALWAYS sets off the gate at the Blazers games or at the TSA gates. But that wasn’t so much what caught my eye as much as the unqualified recommendation for people to arrive extra early without explaining how that would help (or that it might NOT, depending on how many people really DO show up early…"

These new methods will go into effect at tonight's Thorns match, so...ummm...COME EARLY!!!

This FanPost was written by a Stumptown Footy community member and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the site or its staff.

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