Metal detectors help beef up security for Wichita State exhibition opener on Saturday

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita State Shockers basketball team will kickoff their season Saturday, with an exhibition game against a Division II opponent, Henderson State.

Those coming out to Koch Arena for the game will notice some security changes.

Wichita State University Associate Athletic Director Brad Pittman says the school purchased 20 metal detectors, most of which will be used for the game tomorrow evening.

“With the law changing in the state of Kansas, as of July 1, unless you provide adequate security measures, people can bring a concealed carry weapon into your facility,” said Pittman. “Our stance on that, we didn’t feel like that was a good idea for men’s basketball, we talked with Kansas, we talked with K-State, and they are kind of going a similar route,” Pittman added.

Pittman says 17 of the metal detectors will put stationed at the entrances on the main concourse, with another one set up downstairs.

The other two, Pittman says, will serve as backups, if needed.

He says they’ll use these measures normally for events with an attendance of five thousand people or more.

Pittman says the added security comes at a cost.

“The cost of these, all the ones we bought, total 70 thousand dollars,” said Pittman.

He says they’ll have about 30 extra people serving as security for the game tomorrow.

That’s an increase from around the five to ten people that work events, like the volleyball games.

Steve Bell has been a Wichita State fan since the 1970’s.

He plans to attend the game on Saturday with his daughter.

“I’m bringing my daughter to the game, so, make sure we are all safe, because you just never know,” said Bell.

Which is why Bell believe the changes in security will prove to be beneficial.

“That’s just an extra precautionary thing and you know they are checking people out and making sure that we are all safe.” said Bell.

A sentiment that is echoed by Pittman.

“We just want to be proactive and send a message that our place is a secure place, we want people to feel comfortable coming here,” said Pittman.

WSU is also instituting a bag policy, similar to the one seen at Intrust Bank Arena.

The policy permits bags smaller than 14 inches long, 14 inches wide and six inches high.

Pittman says backpacks won’t be allowed inside the area.

However, he says diaper and medical bags will be permitted, but will be searched before entry into the arena.

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